We've spruced up traditional latkes by incorporating a few readily available root vegetables to lend dimension—and color—to the classic recipe. The vegetables can be shredded in a food processor or by hand using a box grater.
Peel the potatoes and shred them in a food processer fitted with the shredding blade. Transfer to a large mixing bowl as the food processor bowl fills up. Repeat the process with the parsnips, beets, carrots and onions. Toss the vegetables together with your hands to break up and evenly disperse. Add the flour, eggs, baking powder, thyme and stir to combine. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.
Line a baking sheet with paper towels. Fill a large skillet with 1/2 inch of oil. Heat over medium-high heat until the oil is very hot but not smoking. To test if the oil is hot enough, drop a teaspoon of the vegetable mixture in the oil; if it sizzles steadily, the oil is ready.
Working in batches, scoop the vegetable mixture by 1/4 cupfuls and add it carefully to the skillet, flattening each mound slightly with a spatula. Fry until golden brown and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Be sure to return the oil to temperature between batches or lower the heat it the latkes are browning too quickly on the first side. Drain on the prepared baking sheet.
Serve immediately or keep warm in a 200-degree F oven. Serve with the sour cream.
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