Potato Cakes with Smoked Salmon and Yogurt-Dill Sauce

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Cavit wines. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands I love that make this blog possible! 

I have a bone to pick with the calendar this year.

This year, the first day of Hanukkah and Christmas Eve fall on the same day. Growing up celebrating both holidays, it always annoyed me when there was holiday crossover. As a kid, Hanukkah always felt like the perfect build up for Christmas, the "big" holiday (awful, I know). As a semi-mature adult not quite as concerned about the countdown to ripping open my Christmas presents, my current beef is that I don't like to mix food traditions.

We usually celebrate the first day of Hanukkah with a semi-traditional meal, always involving potato pancakes and smoked salmon of some form. Christmas dinner depends on where we're celebrating, either lobster at my dad's house, or shrimp and grits at my mother-in-laws. Even though I don't eat kosher (which bans shellfish), nor am I even a practicing Jew, eating lobster or shrimp on the first day of Hanukkah just feels kinda wrong.


Luckily, this year we'll be out of town traveling with my family for the holidays with zero access to lobster, so we can create a new food tradition. I'm thinking Hanukkah inspired appetizers and traditional Christmas dishes as our main. One thing that will definitely be on the menu this year - these crispy olive oil fried potato pancakes topped with smoked salmon and a creamy mustard-dill sauce.

One tradition that's always on our menu - lots of wine! These potato pancakes call for a bright and crisp white wine, like Cavit's Pinot Grigio. It's light and refreshing, perfect for pairing with fried food, which helps keep it from feeling too heavy. The crispness cuts through the olive oil, rich salmon and full-fat yogurt sauce. Plus,the hints of citrus in the wine pair perfectly with the lemon zest in the potato pancake. If you're looking for a light crowd-pleaser to serve before a heavy dinner, this Pinot Grigio is it. There's a reason it's the #1 Italian wine in America!

If you're switching to red for the main course, try Cavit's new Select Red Blend, made with a blend of syrah, cabernet sauvignon, merlot, and teroldego for a rich, bold flavor that pairs well with food.

The holidays threw one other kink in plans making this dish. Originally I was going to make more traditional potato-apple latkes to serve smoked salmon on, but then I learned my food processor had fallen victim to the cuisinart recall. There's definitely a giant chunk of metal missing from my blade and I'm kinda wondering who accidentally ate it 😬 So without any tools to quickly shred my potatoes, I tried my hand at these potato cakes, which get extra crispness from the fried panko coating. A happy accident, because these potato cakes are super delish and the perfect bed for a slice of smoked salmon, one of my all time favorite foods.

Happy holidays to you and your family! Wishing you lots of love, laughter and yummy food (and drink!).

Connect with Cavit: Follow on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.

Potato Cakes with Smoked Salmon and Creamy Mustard-Dill Sauce

Author: Rachael Hartley, RD, LD, CDE, CLT
Serves: Makes about 20


Potato Cakes

  • 4 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 1/2 cup finely minced onion
  • 1/4 cup full fat yogurt
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 cups whole wheat panko
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for frying
  • 8 ounces smoked salmon, sliced


  • 1/2 cup full fat yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons chopped dill
  • 2 tablespoons grainy mustard
  • 2 teaspoons horseradish
  • 1 teaspoon honey


  1. Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with a couple inches of water. Bring to a boil and cook potatoes until fork tender, about 10 minutes. Drain potatoes and return to pot.
  2. Add onion, yogurt, lemon zest, salt and black pepper. Mash until well combined. Let potatoes sit at until cool enough to handle.
  3. While potatoes are cooling, mix ingredients for sauce together and season with salt and black pepper.
  4. Place beaten egg in one bowl and place panko in another. Heat olive oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat. Scoop golf ball sized scoops of mashed potato, roll into a ball, dip in beaten egg then the panko. Place in the hot skillet and flatten slightly with a spatula. Fry 3 minutes per side until golden, flip and fry 2 minutes on the other side.
  5. Remove potato cakes to a serving plate. Top with slices of smoked salmon. Dollop with mustard-dill sauce.

More appetizers to pair with Cavit wine:

Asian Peanut Hummus

Asian Peanut Hummus

Vegan Tempeh Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms

Vegan Tempeh Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms

Lentil Meatballs with Lemony Pesto

Lentil Meatballs with Lemony Pesto