Leeks are another symbolic food that are eaten on Rosh Hashana. The symbolic food usually has a name that sounds similar to what we are requesting from god. The Aramaic word for leek is karti which is similar to the hebrew word karet or cut off. We are hoping that all of our enemies and those who wish evil on us be cut down.
The inspiration for this dish actually came from another Jewish holiday, Chanukah. On Chanukah it is traditional to eat latkes, potato pancakes fried in oil to commemorate the miracle of when the oil in the Temple that was only enough for one day burned for eight days. This past year I made my latkes with zucchini for a little change up from the starchy potatoes.
For Rosh Hashana I am making those same zucchini latkes but instead of white onion I am using the mild onion flavor of the leeks.
On Chanukah latkes are traditionally topped with sour cream for this dish I made a vegan sour cream made from tofu so this dish can be served with a meat meal.
May our enemies and all those who wish evil upon us be cut down.
Zucchini Leek Latkes
1 tsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of chili flakes
salt and pepper
Soy Sour Cream
150 grams/5oz. soft tofu broken into small pieces
2 tsp white vinegar
1 1/2 Tbs lemon or lime juice
1/4 cup olive oil
Like onions leeks have lots and lots of layers. There is usually a lot sand in between those layers. The easiest way to clean leeks is to cut off the root end and the darker green end then slice the leek lengthwise and then cut the leeks into half circles. Fill a large bowl with water, place the sliced leeks in the water and swish the leeks around to separate the layers. All of the grit will fall to the bottom and you just have to skim the clean leeks off the top. Place the leeks on a towel to drain before sautéing.
Heat a large pan over medium heat. Pour in 1 tsp olive oil. Add the cleaned and drained leeks to the heated oil, add a pinch of salt and sauté for 5-8 minutes until the leeks are slightly soft.
While the leeks are cooking shred the zucchinis. Place the shredded the zucchini in a towel and press out the excess moisture (don’t skip this step! If there’s too much liquid the patties won’t bind well)
In a large bowl mix together the sautéed leeks, drained zucchini, garlic, eggs, flour, baking powder, and spices.
Add vegetable oil to the same pan you cooked the leeks in and heat over medium heat.
When your oil is hot add heaping spoonfuls of the latke batter to the hot oil and cook the patties about a minute per side.
Place the cooked latkes on a plate lined with paper towel and sprinkle with salt.
To make the sour cream place the chunks of tofu in a food processor, add the lemon, vinegar, salt, and a few spoonfuls of water. Turn the machine on and after a few minutes check for the level of tartness and salt. When the mixture feels smooth begin to stream in the oil while the machine is running. The amount of water needed depends on the tofu you have so start with a little and if the tofu needs some help to breakdown add a little more water.
Place the latkes on a plate and drizzle with the sour cream, top with sliced scallions and pinch of chili powder.