Photo by Randi Baird
I initially made these savory pancakes for dinner one night as a way to put a dent in an overload of summer zucchini I had, but I have since found myself making them over and over, year round, for a variety of meals. They make a homey and fast dinner, lunch, or weekend breakfast, and are also an elegant brunch entrée and (in mini-size) a cocktail party food. (They are best just-cooked but you can also make them up to a day ahead, refrigerate them, and then reheat in a 350 degree oven.) The pancakes are made with shredded zucchini that is squeezed of its liquid, an essential step for keeping these light and crisp. The zucchini is held together with egg and a little whole wheat flour and simply seasoned with onion and salt, then pan-fried in olive oil until they are soft and tender inside with a supple crispness outside. Served hot with a generous, cool dollop of creamy yogurt-feta sauce perfumed with fresh dill, I’m willing to bet that, like me, you will start plotting to make these again as soon as you have your first taste. A cup-for-cup gluten-free flour may be substituted for the whole wheat pastry flour.
3 medium zucchini, trimmed (about 8 ounces each
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
¾ cup plain Greek yogurt (low-fat or whole)
½ cup crumbled feta cheese (2 ½ ounces)
3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 small clove garlic, grated or finely minced
4 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon olive oil, divided
3 large eggs
6 tablespoons whole wheat pastry flour, plus more as needed
2 tablespoons grated or finely minced onion
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Shred the zucchini on the large holes of a box grater or in a food processor using the shredding attachment. Transfer it to a strainer or colander, toss with ½ teaspoon of the salt and let drain for 10 minutes. Then squeeze it with your hands to press out as much liquid as possible.
While the zucchini is draining, make the sauce. Stir together the yogurt, feta, dill, lemon juice, garlic and 1 teaspoon of the olive oil in a medium bowl.
Beat the eggs in a large bowl. Add the drained zucchini, flour, onion, baking powder and the remaining ¼ teaspoon of salt and the pepper and stir to combine. Add more flour by the tablespoon if the batter seems too loose.
Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large non-stick skillet over a medium heat until the oil is shimmering. Use a ¼ cup measure to scoop the batter into the pan, using a bit less than the full measure for each dollop, and spreading the batter out with the bottom of the measuring spoon after each mound is placed in the pan so that the pancakes are each about 3 ½ inches in diameter. You should wind up with about 6 pancakes in the pan. Cook until they are well browned and crisp on the outside and warmed through, about 3 minutes per side, then transfer to a plate and repeat with the remaining oil and batter.
Serve immediately with the sauce alongside.
Note: These are best just-cooked, but you can also make them up to a day ahead, refrigerate them, and then reheat in a 350F oven.
Serving size: 3 pancakes and 1/4 C sauce
Makes 4 servings
Per serving: Calories 330, Total Fat 24 g; (Sat Fat 7 g, Mono Fat 13 g, Poly Fat 3 g); Protein 15 g; Carb 15 g; Fiber 2 g; Cholesterol 160 mg; Sodium 550 mg, Total Sugar 7 g (Added Sugar 0 g)
Excellent source of: Calcium, Magnesium, Molybdenum, Phosphorous, Protein, Riboflavin, Selenium, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Vitamin K
Good source of: Folate, Iodine, Iron, Manganese, Pantothenic Acid, Potassium, Vitamin A, Vitamin B12, Zinc