There are about as many variations on latkes as there are Jewish cooks today, but there was a time when they were made strictly from potatoes. This year, my favorite version adds sweet potatoes and parsnips to the mix, plus a hint of earthy cumin flavor. Keep prep simple by grating the veggies with a food processor. Another tasty twist: Instead of ubiquitous applesauce as an accompaniment, I serve these crisp latkes with a dazzling beet-apple puree made, conveniently, from precooked beets.
Try the cauliflower dish with brisket. I've started to include fried cauliflower as part of my "new traditional" Hanukkah offerings, as the presence of the olive oil in which it cooks is what matters symbolically. I've made the dish lighter by giving the veggies a jump start in the frying pan and finishing them in the oven. A delicious sauce of tahini with lemon and garlic gets drizzled on, and pomegranate arils add a pop of fresh taste and color.