Let’s Cook with FoodWhat?!: Potato Latkes with Strawberry Salsa

Youth visit the FoodWhat? farm

We’re inviting some of our trusted nonprofit and Star Chef partners to take over the Bon Appétit blog and share their best tips, recipes, and fun links. This week’s guest curators are from FoodWhat?!, a youth empowerment and food justice organization based in Santa Cruz, CA. (Read more below.)

oung man with vegetables

Farm and Culinary Manager David Antonio Robles demonstrates how to make the salsa and latkes

FoodWhat shares cooking videos, wellness tips, and youth interviews on their Instagram account, @foodwhatfarm, and YouTube. Farm and Culinary Manager David Antonio Robles recently showed how to make these satisfying potato latkes topped with a seasonal strawberry salsa


FoodWhat’s Strawberry Salsa

1 basket of strawberries
1 to 3 Serrano chiles
1/2 red onion, medium size
3 cloves garlic
1/2 bunch cilantro
1/4 cup lemon or lime juice

Wash and stem strawberries, then dice into medium-size chunks. They should be the largest ingredient in your salsa.

Mince the Serrano chiles, removing seeds.

Dice red onions into pieces smaller than strawberry chunks.

Finely mince garlic and cilantro (small stems too).

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Gradually add lemon or lime juice and salt to taste.

Let salsa sit for 15 minutes in the fridge to let flavors set in. Taste again and season further if needed.

FoodWhat?! Latkes

Makes 10-12 latkes

4 large potatoes, washed
½ onion, diced
2 eggs
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
2 tablespoons salt
Seasoning of your choice (chopped garlic, chile flakes, whatever)
Neutral oil, for frying

Grate the potatoes into small strips. Using your hands or paper towels, squeeze out the excess moisture from the grated potatoes to ensure latkes will stick together.

David shows off the latkes

In a large mixing bowl, combine grated potatoes, flour, eggs, salt, and any seasoning of your choice.

Pour frying oil into a large pan so that it is about 1/4 inch deep and turn heat to medium. Be careful not to let oil get to the smoking point!

Shape latke mix into pancake shape and lay carefully into the oil. Do not crowd latkes in the pan. The latkes should bubble aggressively when they come into contact with the oil; if not, the oil is not yet hot enough and  they might be greasy. Cook until golden brown on both sides, flipping as few times as possible. Add more oil as needed.

Place finished latkes on a paper towel to drain any excess oil while the others are cooking. Top with salsa and enjoy warm!


More About FoodWhat?!

At FoodWhat, youth engage in relationships with land, food and each other in ways that are grounded in love and rooted in justice. We provide meaningful space where youth define and cultivate their empowerment, liberation and well-being. 

FoodWhat youth use organic farming, nourishing food and loving community as vehicles to grow on their own terms and in lasting ways. As a FoodWhat Crew, we grow, cook, eat and distribute fresh, healthy food while also addressing local food justice issues. 

FoodWhat is a safe space where youth are centered as agents of their own future. Youth use their strength to access opportunities that lead to radical diet change, critical job training, personal growth and more. Many youth share that through FoodWhat, they find healing, inspiration and family. 

The struggling, yet resilient youth that power FoodWhat are considered some of the most vulnerable groups in relation to COVID-19. The FoodWhat Youth Resilience Fund is a community effort to direct timely collective resources to FoodWhat youth and their families who have been identified as experiencing an acute need for financial support. Their goal is to distribute $80,000 directly to the 80 families FoodWhat is closely working with this year. Each will receive $1,000 to help stabilize them through the Summer. 100% of these funds will go directly to youth and their families with no admin costs subtracted. Support FoodWhat’s Youth Resilience Fund >