I think of all the vegetables, I like zucchini just about the best. And I think that’s because it is so versatile and of course so tasty. Not to mention – inexpensive. Especially in the summer when you can easily grow your own, or beg your neighbors for any extra zucchini they might possibly have just laying around. (Like your neighbors aren’t going to be thrilled that someone is actually asking them for zucchini. So much nicer for them than having to leave “care-packages” of zucchini on people’s front porches in the dead of night!)
As I was saying, zucchini is a marvelous vegetable. So when I happened to be watching the Food Network a couple of days ago and saw Ina Garten make these pancakes, I was hooked. Of course, I had to change the ingredients up a bit, because that’s what I do! But the bones of the recipe are strictly Ina.
I just figured, and rightly so I feel, that seasoned salt, olive oil instead of vegetable oil, additional onion, a bit of Parmesan cheese, and a dollop of sour cream could not possibly hurt the basic recipe. And I do believe it made a difference.
So if you too are zucchini lovers, or even if you aren’t particularly fond of this mild mannered, non-presumptuous vegetable, give these pancakes a try. They make just a stunning side dish. Plus they are different. And what cook doesn’t love serving something different to their family and friends?
So get thee to the store and buy yourself some zucchini. You will be amazed at how easy the batter comes together. And the fact that the pancakes are so versatile. They go perfectly with any type of meat. And they contain (but you don’t have to announce this to your children) a green vegetable. (In some cases, sneaky is OK. I believe this is one of those times!)
- 7 T. all-purpose flour, or more as needed
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. seasoned salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ c. finely grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 lg. eggs
- 2 med. zucchini (a healthy ¾ lb.)
- 3 T. finely minced red onion
- unsalted butter
- olive oil
- sour cream (Mexican crema agria is the best), opt.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, seasoned salt, and pepper. Stir in the Parmesan until all bits are coated with the flour; set aside. Whisk the eggs in a good sized bowl. Grate the zucchini using the large grating side of a box grater*. Add to the eggs along with the onion. Stir well to mix the ingredients. Stir in the flour mixture only until thoroughly combined. The batter should be fairly thin (like regular pancake batter).
But if the batter is too thin, add additional flour 1 tablespoon at a time. Note: Do not prepare the batter ahead of time or it will get soggy and won’t fry up properly.
Heat a very large fry pan over medium heat. Add equal amounts of butter and olive oil to liberally coat the bottom of the pan. When the butter and oil are hot, drop heaping spoonful’s of batter into the pan. (Make sure they are not touching. Kind of like kids in the back seat of a car.) Cook the pancakes about 2 minutes on each side, or until each side is brown and crispy. When the pancakes are done, serve immediately, or place on an oven-proof plate and keep warm in a pre-heated 300 degree oven. If your pan is not large enough to fry all the pancakes at once, wipe out the pan with a dry paper towel, add more butter and oil to the pan, and continue to fry the pancakes until all the batter is used. (The pancakes can stay warm in the oven for up to 30 minutes.) Serve hot with a dollop of sour cream.
*If you grate the zucchini ahead of time, place in a colander to allow liquid to drain. Then squeeze lightly just before adding to the eggs.