Posted by: Hil | June 13, 2010

Savory Zucchini Pancakes

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I got this recipe from Barefoot Contessa and I have been completely obsessed with it the last few weeks.  You can serve them as a side dish or appetizer, but I like to eat them as a light lunch.  They are vegetarian and very inexpensive to make when zucchini is in season.  The insides of the pancakes  are softer and more egg-y than a traditional pancake, and the outside gets beautifully golden brown and crisp.

To make them, you need two medium zucchini, about 3/4 of a pound.  I have experimented, and the recipe is pretty forgiving of minor variations in the amount of zucchini you put in.  You also need a bit of onion.  I never measure–I just cut off a chunk of the half onion I invariably have sitting around the fridge.  You can also add a clove of garlic if you feel so inclined.

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Next, you want to pulse the veggies in a food processor or grate them by hand.

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This next step is important and must not be skipped:  you put the vegetable puree into a kitchen towel and very firmly squeeze out as much moisture as you can.  This ensures that the pancakes do not get soggy and maintain their shape during cooking.  I have found that paper towels break during this operation, so I put up with the mess of using a cloth towel.

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Next, add the vegetable mixture to a bowl and mix in two eggs.  In a separate bowl, combine your dry ingredients:  6 tablespoons whole wheat flour, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon baking powder, and a generous amount of freshly grated black pepper.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.  I sometimes add a bit of lemon zest to the batter at this stage if I am feeling fancy.  Assess your batter and add a couple more tablespoons of flour if it seems too loose.  The consistency below is a little bit on the wet side–in retrospect, it probably could have done with a touch more flour.

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Next, heat a pan over medium heat and add a mixture of olive oil and butter to the bottom.  Using a 1/4 cup measure, spoon the batter into the pan.  After a minute, lower the heat to medium low.  (You want the bottoms crispy, but you want to make sure that the pancakes have time to cook through.)  When one side is golden brown, flip the pancakes and cook the other side.  You should get just about six pancakes of this size out of a batch.

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Serve hot with a pinch of grated parmesan on each and a side of hot tomato sauce for dipping.  Enjoy!

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