Creative Latke Toppings: Basil Pesto
It's not just sour cream and applesauce anymore.
By Leah Koenig
For the last 100 years, Russets have reigned as the king of the American potato pancake. But more recently, creative home cooks have begun to augment the "traditional" latke recipe (which, according to Matthew Goodman's Jewish Food: The World at Table, likely dates back to mid-19th century Russia), by experimenting with alternative types of potatoes (purple, sweet, etc.) as well as yams, beets, rutabaga, zucchini, carrots, and other vegetables that benefit from a sizzle in shmaltz or oil.
When it comes to toppings, however, the sour cream and applesauce box has proven far more challenging to escape. Perhaps that's because it is hard to grow tired of something as delicious as a crunchy, salt-kissed latke spread with sweet applesauce or dolloped with sour cream. Still, fried potatoes--along with other root veggie latkes--provide the perfect base for a vast array of sweet and savory toppings.
Place everything but the olive oil in a food processor or blender and blend until it forms a thick paste. Then, with the processor on, drizzle in the olive oil. Blend until smooth. If using a blender, add the olive oil all at once instead of slowly drizzling it in.
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