Mashed Potato, Kale and Feta Cheese Pancakes

By Ronnie Fein | December 04, 2015
See these pancakes? I actually try not to make them too often, because, like the old Lay's ad said: you can't eat just one. These pancakes are soft and creamy inside, fabulously crispy on the surface and have an earthy, vaguely mineral-y potato flavor plus the tang of cheese. They are among my favorite things to eat ever. Also, they are perfect for Passover because they contain matzo farfel, not bread or bread crumbs. They are perfect for Hanukkah when you might want a different kind of latke. They are perfect for vegetarian meals anytime. They are perfect as a brunch dish for company because you can make them ahead and reheat (preheat oven to 425 degrees F). Try one! And maybe freeze the rest to keep yourself from overeating. They store nicely in the freezer (wrapped twice in plastic) for up to two months. The recipe comes from my book, The Modern Kosher Kitchen.


  • 2 cups matzo farfel
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cups chopped fresh kale
  • 2 cups mashed potatoes
  • 6 ounces crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • vegetable oil for frying


 Makes about 16-18 pancakes, 6-8 servings

Place the matzo farfel in a bowl, cover with very hot water and let soak for a few minutes until soft. Drain the farfel and squeeze out as much water as possible. Return the drained farfel to the bowl. While the matzo farfel is soaking, heat the olive oil and butter in a sauté pan over medium heat. When the butter has melted and looks foamy, add the onion and cook for a minute. Add the kale, cover the pan and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for 5-6 minutes, or until the kale has wilted. Spoon the mixture into a strainer and squeeze out as much liquid as possible from the vegetables. Add to the matzo farfel and mix ingredients to distribute them evenly. Add the mashed potatoes, feta cheese and egg and mix ingredients thoroughly. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Heat about 1/2-inch vegetable oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Shape the potato mixture into patties and fry for 2-3 minutes per side, or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.  

Excerpted from The Modern Kosher Kitchen: More than 125 Inspired Recipes for a New Generation of Kosher Cooks. Photos by Glenn Scott Photography. Fair Winds Press, 2014.

  • Mashed Potato, Kale and Feta Cheese Latkes