Saturday, July 30, 2011

Zucchini Pancakes

Zucchini seems to be taking over our gardens,  CSA baskets, farmer's markets and consequently our kitchens.  Here is little info on zucchini and a simple and quick recipe that will help with all that zucchini!
For thousands of years zucchini has been eaten in Central and South American countries but has only been a widely consumed vegetable in North America for about 30 years.  The variety that is grown here is a green Italian squash.  There are many types of zucchini grown these days but the most common is still the summer green zucchini.  It can grown up to a meter long but is best picked around 8 inches (20 cm) while the seeds are still soft and small.  In honor of this prolific vegetable, here is a recipe for zucchini pancakes that does this mild vegetable justice.

 These pancakes were fairly large at 3+ inches.
Turn them when they are browned after about 3 to 4 minutes.

Many zucchini pancake recipes require frying in 1/4 inch or so of oil and need to be eaten right away because, well, they are fried. They tend to become a little spongy and oily tasting the next day. That is the nature of most fried foods.  They are still good, just not the same as freshly made.  I wanted to change up the recipe some so they would cook more like a regular pancake with less oil/butter in the pan but, of course, I want the same great flavor.  Some pancakes are delicious to pop in the toaster the next day and smear with a little butter or jam for a snack or light breakfast.   Why can't Zucchini pancakes be like that?  I couldn't think of one good reason so I got to work.  Like making pancakes is hard work!
You think this many would last a while and there would be 
several left over the next day . . .

My method for this recipe was to increase the zucchini, onion and eggs and add corn (some chopped up red pepper would be a nice addition).  I added a little more flour because the zucchini has a tendency to seep and the batter becomes thin. There is no added butter or oil except what is used in the pan to cook them making them a bit more healthy. I also scraped the corn cob with the dull side of a knife to "juice" it for that delicious corn nectar that lives there.  The first batch was a total success (a rare occurrence to be happy the first time!) and disappeared quick.  That can happen when there is a hungry son lurking around.

If you have a recipe or a link on how to use this abundance of zucchini then please share in the comments below!  It would be so gracious of you and deeply appreciated.  I have one more zucchini recipe that I plan to share in future post that I think you will enjoy.

This savory cake goes very well with either sour cream or plain yogurt topped with chopped chives.

Zucchini Pancakes
makes about 12 - 13 3 inch pancakes
Print Recipe

2 medium large zucchini (this is subjective because some zucchini are HUGE)
     about 4 -5 cups (500+ g) grated
2 corn cobs, kernels removed (optional)
4 tablespoons onion, finely chopped
3 large eggs
1/2 cup (50 g) flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
2 or 2 tablespoons chopped parsley (optional)
Butter and olive oil for frying

Toss veggies together.  Beat eggs together and mix into the veggies.  Mix flour, baking powder, salt, pepper and parsley (if using) in a separate bowl. 

Add 1 tablespoon of oil and 1 teaspoon of butter to a heated saute pan (I used an iron skillet).  Drop large spoonfuls (approximately 1/3 cup) into the pan.  Allow to cook until you see browned edges and flip.  They are done when you lightly touch them in the middle and it springs back.  

These are seriously delicious and are good plain or with sour cream or plain yogurt smeared on them.  (Did I say this already?!) Don't hesitate to sprinkle some freshly chopped chives over the sour cream or yogurt.  More goodness!

Note:  It is better to have a larger amount of zucchini than less.  If you have less zucchini reduce the eggs to 2.

Liquid will pool at the bottom of the bowl as it sits while you are making the pancakes.  It is best to stir the mix before placing the pancakes in the pan but don't worry about trying to incorporate all the liquid. When cooking the pancakes use a slotted spoon or spoon it out in a way to leave the liquid in the bottom of the bowl.  It will continue to collect at the bottom of the bowl. Just toss it when the last pancake is done.

Alternatively, you can drain some of the liquid off before making the recipe.  Grate all the zucchini in a colander and sprinkle 1 teaspoon of the salt over the zucchini and let sit for 15 minutes.  Gently squeeze the liquid out (you will probably get about 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup) without crushing the zucchini.  This will reduce a lot of the liquid at the bottom of the bowl.  Be careful if adding the additional salt from the recipe because this methods seems to need less salt.



  1. Your pictures are so great. These look very delicious. I love how you even added the corn in there

  2. You take amazing photos. These pancakes look to die for!

  3. I'm so glad you've presented us with a lovely zuke pancake that's not deep fried and completely covered with grease! I love the idea of doing these with a bit of red pepper too! Thanks for sharing!

  4. the first pic is truly lovely. I love your easy recipe and the addition of corn is a great idea!! thanks for sharing!

  5. Great use for extra zucchini. I fear I always turn to zucchini bread's a bit of an addiction. Time for a change of pace. ;)

  6. briarrose - I totally understand zucc bread first because I can't wait for that first slice of the season.

    Thank you Claire, Bonnie and Maris

    C&C - I actually like these better than the more fried ones. The flavor seems more pronounced. I am glad you like them.

  7. I love to use a vegetable peeler and make ribbons out of zucchini- I treat them as noodles in miso soup - but also in rough salads with a basil puree and some goat's cheese. NB, have just found your blog and spent the most divine hour with a cup of tea sifting through the archive. I love the way you write.

  8. I just picked up SO much more zucchini from our CSA and was just thinking what to do with it - thanks for the great idea!

  9. I love courgette pancakes I put feta cheese & mint in mine but I like the corn idea too. My favourite courgette recipe is a Courgette & Feta Souffle or Zucchini Fries with basil pesto mayo!

  10. Tori - that is a great idea. I am definitely going to try that. Thank you and I am so glad you like it.

    Simply Life - Oh the abundance of summer squash!

    foodblogandthedog - I love the feta idea. I have never put cheese in them before but it sounds delicious. The souffle and fries sound awfully good. Now I need more zucchini!

  11. I would love a zucchini pancake for dinner, this recipe sounds like a tasty way to use up some of my favorite summer veggies. I really like the corn and I might throw in a little minced jalapeño or serve with a spoonful of salsa. Beautiful photos;-)

  12. What a simple and beautiful treat! I can make this for my son lunch box :)

  13. I love that they aren't deep fried. What a great change. These look wonderful.

  14. I am became hungry after this post, lol
    thank you
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