Leek, Potato & Herb Pancakes

leek potato fritters w:horseradish yogurtI turn most anything into a fritter, patty, lattke-like thing. It really never fails to:

  • Taste good
  • Use up whatever random bits of vegetables, herbs, cooked grains, etc. I have
  • Turn vegetable skeptics into vegetable eaters, if not lovers
  • Serve as a one dish meal if time is short

And I never deep fry them, mostly because I’m frugal and don’t want to use that much oil and because it makes a mess and because I think they taste just as good just pan-fried in a bit of oil.

I made these last night with my son and we all loved them, as we do most things in this format! So I decided to create a new section on my Seasonal Recipe Collection devoted to this adaptable, delicious format/technique! There are now 12 recipes for savory pancakes, patties, fritters and lattkes all grouped together on the What’s for Dinner? page. How about Japanese Cabbage Pancakes or Winter Squash & Rice Fritters w/ Cilantro Yogurt Sauce or Savory Chard Pancakes or Carrot & Rutabaga Lattkes?

If you’re already a subscriber, great, if not, now may be the time! Go make fritters for Passover or any day of the year!

Leek, Potato and Herb Fritters
–loosely inspired by Joan Nathan’s Jewish Holiday Cookbook

Serves 3-4 (about 18 3-4-inch patties)

leek potato fritter prep

2 lbs leeks (about 5 medium), trimmed and well washed and thinly sliced
3 medium yukon gold potatoes (or other firm fleshed potato), scrubbed and quartered
2 stalks green garlic or 2 cloves garlic, minced
2 scallions or a 1/4 of an onion, minced
1/3 cup chopped cilantro or parsley or other tender herbs
3 eggs
1/4 cup flour, fine bread crumbs or matzo meal
1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar or Parmesan
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Oil for pan-frying
*Optional topping of Greek yogurt mixed with some grated, fresh horseradish and salt.

Wash the leeks well. I make deep cuts down the side, lengthwise, almost to the root, to be able to rinse between the layers. I use most of the green part and just trim off the toughest parts. Thinly slice the leeks. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add 2 teaspoons salt and par boil the leeks for 5 minutes. Drain well.

Boil the potatoes until tender. Mash the potatoes in a large bowl. Whisk the eggs in a small bowl and whisk in the flour or bread crumbs and add mixture to the potatoes and leeks along with the herbs, scallions or onion, garlic, cheese and salt and pepper. Mix well.

Heat about 2 tablespoons of oil in a large, heavy skillet. Fry fritters on both sides until golden brown. Top with horseradish yogurt if you’d like.

Simple Spring Soup



frikeh herb soup IIEvery (early) spring I am reminded of why I have a vegetable/herb garden. Between the green garlic, sorrel, parsley, chives, and puny escarole I can flavor most anything and I haven’t actually “gardened” in many months. This is the joy of watching things come up and start afresh with no effort at all. It doesn’t look like much when you scan the muddy patches that I call my garden this time of year. However, we were away for a few days last week and I have yet to do much grocery shopping so we’ve been eating out of the pantry/freezer and the garden and we’ve been eating well.

Today’s lunch was a soup of frikeh (scorched green wheat) that I had cooked months ago and frozen, a bit of leftover chicken stock, water, green garlic, a chunk of onion and plenty of parsley and chives and a little squeeze of lemon juice.

frikeh herb soup prepIt took about 10 minutes to make and is just a template for a simple, brothy bowl of soup. Any grain would work and barley or farro would be particularly good. You could skip the grains and just use vegetables or leftover meat but plenty of herbs are key. Use any kind of broth or stock you have or just water. The little bit of lemon juice at the end and the herbs are what stand out here.

Spring Soup

Serves 2-3

2 stalks green garlic, trimmed and minced (greens and all)
1/2 small onion, finely diced
3 cups broth/stock/water
A little toasted cracked coriander (optional)
1 1/2 cups cooked grains (see headnote), frikeh in this case
1/3 cup chopped fresh herbs like parsley, chives, chervil
Squeeze of lemon juice
Olive oil

Saute the onion and green garlic in a bit of oil oil in a medium pot. When softened add the broth and the cooked grains. Bring to a boil. Add the coriander (if using) and stir in the fresh herbs. Salt to taste. Serve with a squeeze of lemon juice and a good drizzle of olive oil.

Happy Spring!

P.S. I’ve created a new section on my subscription-based Seasonal Recipe Collection called What’s for Dinner? It organizes the site by theme such as Creative Salads, Meals that Make Great Leftovers, Prepared Pantry, Kid-friendly Meals and the like. If you haven’t yet subscribed, you might consider it!

Quinoa & Tangerine Salad

“Interesting combination” said the eight-year-old, . . . “fantastic” said the husband, helping himself to thirds. “It’s worth repeating”, said the cook. . . who enjoyed the leftovers for breakfast this morning. Quinoa and Tangerine Salad  11/2 cups quinoa Scant 2 cups water Several generous pinches salt 3 tangerines or […] Read more »

Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies

I scraped the smudge of cookie dough that had adhered to the counter after rolling the dough into logs, off the counter with an off-set spatula so I could inhale ever last gram of it. Though said smudge didn’t include chunks of toasted nuts and bittersweet chocolate that otherwise riddle this […] Read more »

Red Curry w/ Lots of Vegetables & a Little Chicken

It takes an extra trip to the store (which I usually shun) but it’s occasionally worth it to make homemade curry paste. The paste recipe below makes enough for about 4 meals (for 6 each) for my family’s spice-level. If you like things mild-medium you might get more meals out […] Read more »