The zucchinis have arrived in force and are coming out of our ears! Pancakes, anyone?!
Savory zucchini pancakes dolloped with lightly spiced yogurt sauce is an excellent summer side dish. They may be eaten hot right out of the pan, lukewarm, or even at room temperature. The pancake format ,with so few ingredients, really showcases the zucchini. This isn’t just a great way to “use up” extra unwanted zucchini (“use up?” what’s that?!) … it’s an intentionally delicious dish. Bonus: because they are “pancakes,” even kids will like them.
Aggiornamento Arliano (Arliano Update):
Because it’s cherry season I’ve been seeing a lot of cherry recipes popping up all over the internet. Unfortunately, there was a very late frost in Lucca, and our cherry trees didn’t produce any this year, so I bought a nice basket of them at the market. I’d been eager to make a cherry cake I had found on Instagram, but when our electricity was finally turned on (which “only” took a month) I tested our oven and, alas, it didn’t work. So, no cherry cake for me. Thankfully it was recently “Amazon Prime Days” so we ordered a new one at a nice discount. We would have eventually bought one, anyway, for our near future kitchen renovation, so it all worked out.
Meanwhile, we’ve been rising with the sun (partly because we haven’t hung any curtains yet) to get out in the garden to beat the heat. The mosquitoes and gnats have gotten so bad we’ve taken to wearing netting over our hats while working in the garden. Besides the daily bucket loads of zucchini, our tomatoes, eggplant and sweet and hot peppers are all growing and flowering right on schedule. The dahlias, which were supposed to bloom in August, are already here, as are some lilies. Next year I’ll replant the bulbs farther apart to ensure continuous flowers in the house.
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Savory Zucchini Pancakes, a Perfect Summer Side Dish
- 3 cups grated zucchini (about 2-3 large zucchini)
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (The batter should be loose, but not runny. Start with 1/2 cup, and add more, 1 tablespoon at a time if the batter is too runny)
- 1/4 cup finely chopped scallions or any color onion, finely minced (optional)
- 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese (or Asiago, Pecorino, Grana Padano, or your favorite dry cheese)
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt (not iodized table salt) for the batter, more to sprinkle on the final pancakes
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper flakes (optional)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 cup room temperature plain Greek yogurt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- Pinch of kosher or sea salt
Yogurt topping (optional)
- For the yogurt sauce place all the Yogurt Topping ingredients in a small bowl and stir well. Adjust seasonings to your preference and set it aside while you make the zucchini pancakes
- Grate the zucchini and measure 3 cups. Place the grated zucchini in a large mixing bowl
- Chop the scallions or onion and grate the cheese and place them in the bowl with the zucchini
- In a large saucepan, bring the olive oil and butter to medium high heat
- Add all the other pancake ingredients to the bowl with the zucchini and mix well. This is your pancake batter
- Test if the oil and butter is hot enough by putting in a drop of the pancake batter in the pan. If it sizzles, it’s ready
- Using a 1/3 cup measuring cup, or a very large spoon, scoop the batter and form as many pancakes in your pan as you can with enough room for you to maneuver flipping them. Flatten each pancake with a spatula, if needed. Cook the first side for approximately 2 minutes, or until when you peek under it, it is deep golden brown. Flip the pancakes and cook for another 1.5 – 2 minutes. Place the pancakes on a plate lined with paper towels. These may be kept warm in a 200 F (90 C) heated oven, if needed
- Top each pancake with a little of the yogurt sauce