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Nana’s Classic Latkes

Yield: about 20 latkes

Servings: 6 to 8

My nana’s latkes were just too good to update, but I’ve given them a modern twist by garnishing with watermelon radishes and serving them as a base for a first-course salad.


  • 4 large russet potatoes (about 3 lb.), peeled
  • 1 Spanish onion (about 8 oz.; 3/4 cup grated)
  • 1 Tbs. potato starch
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup grapeseed or canola oil
  • Sliced watermelon radish, for garnish (optional)


  • Position a rack in the center of the oven, and heat the oven to 200°F.
  • Using the large holes on a box grater, grate the potatoes and onion. Transfer to a clean kitchen towel. Working over the sink, twist the ends of the towel to wring out excess liquid. Transfer the potato mixture to a large bowl, and toss with the potato starch, 1-1/2 tsp. salt, and 3/4 tsp. pepper.
  • Heat the oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat until shimmering, about 3 minutes. Using a 1/4-cup scoop, carefully place 3 evenly spaced mounds of the potato into the oil. Press with a spatula to flatten so that each is about 3 to 4 inches wide and lacy around the edges. Fry to a deep golden brown, about 4-1/2 minutes on each side. You may need to flip the latkes back and forth a bit to achieve even browning. Transfer the latkes to a baking sheet lined with paper towels, sprinkle generously with salt, and transfer to the oven to keep warm. Fry and hold the remaining latkes in the same manner. Garnish with watermelon radish slices, if you like, and serve.


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