Fresh-Pressed Olive Oil Club

The Olive Oil Hunter News #150

Potato Latkes

Celebration Potato Pancakes Recipe, Spotlight on Smoked Salmon, Benefits of a Hot Pan, and Flavonoids’ Mood-Boosting Benefits

A wonderful late autumn dish, potato pancakes with smoked salmon are tasty and satisfying. And you can elevate them from everyday to festive with flavorful garnishes perfect for the most elegant celebrations. I’m also sharing welcome news about the mental health benefits of foods rich in flavonoids and an invitation to sign up for a bone health masterclass from Kevin Ellis, the Bone Coach—the time is now to protect your bones.

Celebration Potato Pancakes

  • Potato Latkes Celebration Potato Pancakes

    This twist on traditional potato pancakes gets sweetness from parsnips and a hint of tartness from the apple, plus garnishes that add more levels of flavor. Eggs replace flour as the binder, making this version gluten free as well.


    • 12 ounces red potatoes, scrubbed but not peeled
    • 1 medium yellow onion, about 8 ounces
    • 1 large Granny Smith apple, washed
    • 6 ounces parsnips, peeled
    • 3 large eggs
    • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided use, plus more as needed
    • 2 teaspoons coarse sea salt
    • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    • 1 cup skyr, sour cream, or mascarpone
    • 4 ounces thinly sliced smoked salmon, cut into 32 pieces
    • A few springs of fresh dill
    • Additional garnishes: capers, salmon roe or another caviar, diced red onion 


    Step 1

    Using the grating blade of a food processor or a large box grater, finely grate the potatoes, onion, apple, and parsnips. Transfer to a very large bowl and mix well. Add the eggs, the 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt, and pepper, and toss thoroughly. Preheat your oven to 250°F and line a rimmed sheet pan with paper towels.

    Step 2

    Heat a large frying pan over medium heat. When hot, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Using a 1/4 cup measure as a scoop, make a layer of pancakes, flattening them slightly with the back of the measure. Cook over medium heat until they brown on the bottom, flip, and continue cooking until the underside browns and crisps. Transfer to the sheet pan and place in the oven to keep warm. Repeat with the rest of the mixture, adding more oil to the pan as needed.

    Step 3

    To serve, top each pancake with a dollop of skyr, sour cream, or mascarpone; a piece of smoked salmon; a snippet of dill; and a few capers, roe, or another caviar, if desired.

    Yields 8 servings

Healthy Ingredient Spotlight: Burrata

Healthy Ingredient Spotlight

Smoked Salmon

Whether you prefer your smoked salmon Scandinavian style with butter on dark bread or New York style with cream cheese on a bagel, this specialty fish has the same health benefits as grilled or poached salmon plus a salty, smoky flavor. It retains salmon’s natural omega-3 fatty acids, which help boost the health of your heart, brain, and eyes.

Smoked salmon also delivers on protein, plus vitamins A, B12, and E and the mineral selenium, all for about 30 calories per ounce. Do read labels to make sure that the sodium content from the curing process won’t put you over your limit—its salty taste means you can skip the salt shaker when eating it as a topper on your potato pancakes or avocado toast, and when adding it to scrambled eggs. 

Quick Kitchen Nugget: Rinsing Lettuce

Quick Kitchen Nugget

Start with a Hot Pan

I’m not a fan of adding olive oil to a cold pan—that has the effect of cooking the oil while the pan itself gets to the right temperature. Instead, heat your pan or pot over medium-high heat for a couple of minutes; when a few drops of water sprinkled on the surface sizzle, it’s time to add your EVOO and then the food to be cooked.

For Your Best Health: Imperfect calorie counting may be good enough

For Your Best Health

Flavonoids’ Mood-Boosting Benefits 

According to research presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Nutrition by Department of Veterans Affairs researcher Galya Bigman, PhD, having a lot of flavonoids in your daily diet is linked to a reduced risk of depression. Flavonoids are a key group of natural compounds found in plant foods and offer a variety of health benefits. For this work, Dr. Bigman used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES: 2007–2010, 2017–2018) including self-reported depressive symptoms and dietary intake of flavonoids from more than 12,000 participants. Total flavonoid intake (mg/day) was calculated and divided into quartiles, with participants’ flavonoid intake was ranked.

Participants in the highest vs. lowest quartiles of flavonoid intake had a 10 to 13 percent lower incident rate of depressive symptoms, leading to the conclusion that “flavonoids may have a central role in alleviating or preventing depressive symptoms.” While further research is needed to clarify the mechanisms responsible for this positive link, the research notes the top food sources of flavonoids that the participants enjoyed: cocoa/chocolate, tea, soy-based products, onions, chili/sweet peppers, berries, dark-green leafy vegetables, celery, and lemon.

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