Mezze & Dolce

Light Mediterranean Meals Paired with Ample Dessert

Mezze: Turkish Carrot, Apricot, and Pine Nut Latkes (Havuc Koftesi)

Good Chanukah

So here’s a little secret: eating on Chanukah isn’t really about potatoes or chocolate or donuts; it’s not about topping things with applesauce or sour cream. It’s about oil. Good old, greasy oil. Hence the holiday’s signature dish, the potato latke: fried, fried, and more fried potato.

Last year our M & D Chanukah posts shared some recipes for making creative, Mediterranean toppings for these one-of-a-kind greasy potatoes: Orange Blossom Applesauce, Roasted Leeks with Egyptian Spices, and Arugula Pistachio Pesto. And believe me, they are definitely worth a repeat. But this year, I was feeling bold, so I decided to take on the big oily kahuna itself.

These latkes were inspired by Havuc Koftesi, a dish I discovered earlier this year at Zaytinya, a Mediterranean restaurant in the heart of Washington, D.C. Havuc Koftesi are bright orange Turkish fritters made of carrots, apricots, pine nuts, and loaded up with herbs. At Zaytinya, they serve them with a creamy, tangy pistachio sauce, an acidic counterbalance to the inherent greasiness of these fried little fritters. I adapted the recipe from CorkandSpoon, one of the few websites you can even find a mention of these special treats. These “Havuc Koftesi Latkes” are no more complicated than the regular potato variety (which require lots of draining and coordination to be really good). But, I would argue, they’re a whole lot more interesting, so give them a try! –jaime

P.S. A big thank you to my friend Amy, who, in my last days of pregnancy, slaved away with me in the kitchen to help make these, freeze them for Chanukah, and share them with you!

Good Stack

Havuc Koftesi Latkes

10 carrots, peeled and cut crosswise into 1/4 inch slices
1/3 cup chopped dill
1/3 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup chopped mint
3 large cloves garlic, minced
4 green onions, minced
10 dried apricot halves, chopped
3/4 cup bread crumbs
6 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
Generous dash of aleppo pepper or a pinch of cayenne
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 egg
1 cup all-purpose flour
Canola or vegetable oil

1. Boil carrots in salted water until you can pierce through them with a fork. Put in a bowl and cool for 20 minutes in the freezer or fridge. Mash them with either a food processor or potato masher and set aside.

2. While the carrots are boiling and cooling, chop and mince the herbs through apricot if you haven’t already.

3. Combine all of the ingredients except for the flour and oil (carrots through egg) in a mixing bowl and combine well (hands always work best!).

4. Pour enough oil into a large frying pan to cover the bottom completely (you can put in more if you want – up to you). Begin heating the oil on medium-high heat. Place flour in a shallow bowl. You are now ready for dredging and frying.

5. Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, scoop out some of the latke batter, place it in your hands, and flatten it into a latke shape. Place the latke in the flour, then turn over and dredge the other side in the flour, too.

6. Once the oil is heated, drop your dredged latke in the frying pan. Repeat until you fill the pan with latkes, but there is still enough room between them to flip each one. Fry until golden brown on each side. Put them on a plate lined with paper towel and set aside.

7. Repeat until all of the batter has been made into latkes. To serve, top each latke with a dollop of pistachio sauce (see recipe below).

Good Sauce

Pistachio Sauce

1 very small or 1/2 of a medium sweet onion (like a vidalia, walla walla, etc.), peeled and quartered
1/2 cup unsalted pistachios (salted are OK, just decrease the salt amount in the recipe slightly)
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 generous dashes of salt
A couple grinds of pepper
1/2 cup parsley, roughly chopped
6-7 tablespoons water
3 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 325.

2. Place quartered onion on a sheet of aluminum foil and drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Close the foil tightly and place the onion pouch in the oven. Cook for 35-45 minutes, or until the onion until soft and malleable. Open the foil and let cool for 20 minutes.

3. Combine the onion in the bowl of a food processor with the next 5 ingredients (pistachios through parsley). Mix together until combined into a thick puree.

4. Keeping the food processor running, slowly add in the water. Process until smooth.

5. Stream in 3 tablespoons of olive oil until well combined. Taste and adjust for seasoning. Dollop on havuc koftesi latkes!


3 comments on “Mezze: Turkish Carrot, Apricot, and Pine Nut Latkes (Havuc Koftesi)

  1. Hannah
    November 19, 2013

    Looks good! How many latkes does this make?

  2. Pingback: Dolce: Grapefruit-Basil Shortbread | Mezze & Dolce

  3. Pingback: Stone Fruit | Our Five Favorite Recipes | Mezze & Dolce

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


This entry was posted on November 19, 2013 by in Appetizers/Dips, Mezze, Side Dishes and tagged , , , .

About Jacque & Jaime

Jaime and Jacque are two gals who discovered a mutual passion for Mediterranean flavors and ingredients and never turned back. They started Mezze & Dolce to share this love, their recipes, and their inspirations with the world. Follow them at


Follow us on Pinterest!

Follow Me on Pinterest

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 125 other followers

Check out our food porn on FoodGawker!

Flourishing Foodie

Light Mediterranean Meals Paired with Ample Dessert

bottom of the pot

Light Mediterranean Meals Paired with Ample Dessert

The Year In Food

Light Mediterranean Meals Paired with Ample Dessert

My Persian Kitchen

Light Mediterranean Meals Paired with Ample Dessert

Dinner: A Love Story| Dinner: A Love Story

Light Mediterranean Meals Paired with Ample Dessert

101 Cookbooks

Light Mediterranean Meals Paired with Ample Dessert

Light Mediterranean Meals Paired with Ample Dessert

Tori Avey

Light Mediterranean Meals Paired with Ample Dessert

dinners & dreams

Light Mediterranean Meals Paired with Ample Dessert

butter tree

Light Mediterranean Meals Paired with Ample Dessert

Butter Me Up Brooklyn

baking makes friends.

Lottie + Doof

Light Mediterranean Meals Paired with Ample Dessert


Light Mediterranean Meals Paired with Ample Dessert

%d bloggers like this: