Olive Latkes

From The Essential Jewish Festival Cooking (HarperCollins) by Phyllis Glazer with Miriyam Glazer. ©2004 Phyllis Glazer with Miriyam Glazer, used with permission.

Serves 4


  • 2 cups lightly packed pitted green or black olives in brine, drained
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1-2 tablespoons water, optional


  1. Chop the olives finely or process in food processor. Transfer them to a strainer and squeeze out as much moisture as possible. Set aside.
  2. Heat 1/4 cup oil in a skillet. Sauté the onion and garlic until golden. Set aside. 
  3. In a bowl, sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cumin. Beat in the eggs, olives and onion mixture with a fork. Add the water if the mixture seems too thick. 
  4. Heat the remaining oil. Use a small cup or soup ladle to form 3 to 4 small latkes each time. Fry on both sides until golden. Serve with a dollop of thick yogurt or sour cream: Top with a 1/2 teaspoon of zhoug, a fiery Yemenite condiment made from dried hot peppers, garlic and other spices, if desired.