Chef Michael Scelfo’s Spring Latkes

About recipe

You don’t have to be celebrating the Festival of Lights to enjoy this veggie latke recipe from chef Michael Scelfo. This unique latke recipe replaces the potatoes with zucchini, kale, and other goodies. The resulting pancakes are still quite a treat!

Ingredients (serves 10)

  • 1  zucchini
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ of 1 jalapeno, seeded and sliced thin, lengthwise
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 2 tbsp crumbled feta
  • 6 kale leaves or swiss chard leaves, sliced in Chiffonade style (Stack leaves and roll tightly. Slice leaves perpendicular to the roll creating thin, little rings)
  •  3 scallions, sliced thinly lengthwise
  • 1 small yellow onion, sliced thin
  • salt
  • black cracked pepper
  • olive oil
  • butter or grapeseed oil for pan/cooking
  • mint (optional)


  • Box grater or mandolin slicer
  • Medium-size mixing bowl
  • Cast iron pan or heavy bottom pan


  1. Slice vegetables and transfer to mixing bowl.
  2. Key: Cut everything thin – this is why I suggest cutting the zucchini on a box grater or using a mandoline slicer.
  3. Place zucchini slices in a medium mixing bowl spreading around the bowl.
  4. Add remaining vegetables.
  5. Add eggs to the bowl of vegetables and mix well.
  6. Think of this as making a pancake batter – as vegetables are in thin slices, ensure they are fully coated with eggs.
  7. Add a sprinkling of salt and black cracked pepper.
  8. Add a splash of milk and mix again.
  9. Ensure vegetables are moist (add a second splash of milk, if needed)
  10. Add  2T of olive oil and continue mixing so the vegetables are well coated.
  11. Gradually add flour to the bowl and continue mixing. The zucchini will begin to soften.
  12. Mix until batter consistency forms. If the batter becomes too wet, add more flour as needed.
  13. Add an additional sprinkling of salt to taste.
  14. Generously coat cast iron skillet with oil or butter and place over (medium-high).
  15. Allow the heat to build up for a few minutes ensuring oil or butter has a nice shimmer when moving the pan back and forth.
  16. Check to see if the batter has thinned. This may happen and is normal as vegetables are predominantly water. If so, add more flour to thicken the batter and mix well.
  17. Optional: Add a large handful of torn mint leaves to the batter and mix through.
  18. Place serving-size spoonful of batter to the skillet.
  19. Using a spatula, press down lightly on latkes to flatten.
  20. Once latkes are golden on the bottom, flip.
  21. Tip: try to flip latkes away from you so the oil doesn’t splatter.
  22. When golden on both sides, transfer latkes to the serving dish.
  23. Top with a tablespoon of feta cheese or amount to taste.
  24. Drizzle with honey and an additional sprinkling of salt and cracked black pepper. Garnish with fresh mint leaves and a drizzle of olive oil.
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