I have tested root vegetable variations on the classic potato latke before, and sweet potatoes, in my experience, can be subbed in 1-for-1 to replace white potatoes in most latke recipes. When fried, the starch in sweet potatoes breaks down to sugar, leading to a delicious lightly caramelized flavor, perfect with a dash of cinnamon and eaten as fast as you can get your hands on them.
I wanted to see if beet latkes would turn out as well: I hoped to coax out a sweet, earthy flavor but keep the crispy texture and soft interior I love. It worked! I like my latkes a bit denser and more hockey puck-like (all the better for piling on tons of applesauce and sour cream), but you can use this recipe and tweak the size to be as thin and crispy as you like.
1-1.5 pounds beets (1 large or 2 small, peeled)
1 pound white potatoes, peeled
1 small yellow onion, diced very finely
1/4 cup potato starch or cornstarch
2 cups matzah meal
Sea salt and pepper to taste
Vegetable oil or refined coconut oil
Grate the beets and potatoes into a large bowl. Mix in the diced onion and potato starch.
Let the mixture sit for 1-2 minutes, then stir in the matzah meal. The mixture should be moist but hold together. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then set aside for 5-10 minutes.
Preheat a large skillet over medium heat. Add enough oil to generously coat the bottom–roughly 1/4 inch deep. While the oil is heating up, roll a small handful of the beet mixture into a ball and then flatten into a patty. Repeat until you have about 6.
Add the latkes to the pan and cook about 4 minutes on each side. Transfer the crispy latkes to a paper towel-lined plate or cookie sheet and cover loosely with aluminum foil.
Repeat until all of the batter is done and serve warm with applesauce or vegan sour cream.