From Anik’s Kitchen: Zucchini Pancakes
This recipe has become a standard for Sunday brunch ever since I stumbled over it at HomeMadeS via Foolforfood. The origin of this dish seems to lay somewhere within Nigel Slater’s “The Kitchen Diaries”, but since I never figured out when the cheese and the egg go into the mixture – to use one of my favorite Spanish words, ¿eing? – I made up my own variation along the way, which Ngf has tried and approved.
Since cakes in both our language “cakes” signal something sweet, we’re calling these delicious little treats “zucchini pancakes” since, well, they are baked in a pan (never mind that pancakes traditionally tend to be a sweet thing, as well).
They can be served with a chutney, as HomeMadeS suggests, but Ngf and I tend to prefer them with a slice of freshly baked bread or with a Spanish tomato salad on the side. …Should we ever have children, we will definitely sell them this dish as veggie burgers.
Zucchini Pancakes (on a Sunday brunch for two):
- 1 big zucchino (since the sizes of zucchini differ greatly depending on the country or the season: about 500-600g)
- 1 onion
- 1 clove of garlic
- 3 heaped tbsp. of flour
- 1 egg
- 100g feta cheese
- 1 tbsp. frozen and cut dill (if you use fresh dill, make it at least 2 tbsp.)
- half a tsp. of paprika powder (if you like, a drop or two of Tabasco)
- sunflower oil
- kitchen paper towels
- Chop the onion.
- In a big pan, set a spoonful of oil to heat and then gently sauté the onion for a few minutes (they should turn transparent, not brown)
- Meanwhile, grate the zucchini onto a kitchen paper towel. Sprinkle with salt (I use a sea-salt mill and give it a few energetic turns).
- After a few minutes – the onion I the pan should be transparent by now – squeeze the excess liquid out of the zucchini by putting a second kitchen paper towel on top and pressing down.
- Add the zucchini to the pan and leave it for a few minutes on medium heat until the zucchini is soft and nearly cooked (if I’m impatient, I put a lid onto the pan to speed up the process)
- In the last minute, add the clove of garlic (finely chopped or pressed) to the pan so it gets cooked as well, but can’t burn or turn brown.
- Pour the mixture from the pan into a large bowl.
- Add flour, egg, paprika (and Tabasco if you like a little extra kick), pepper and dill.
- Cut the feta cheese into small cubes and add it, as well.
- Blend the mixture roughly with a spoon or a fork until you can’t distinguish bits of egg or flour anymore.
- Wipe out the pan you used before, put another spoonful of oil into it and return it to the fire, turning up the fire close to maximum.
- When the oil is hot, ladle the mix – two big tablespoons per pancake – into the pan. A 26cm pan fits about three or four pancakes.
- Make sure the pancakes don’t stick to the bottom of the pan. After three or four minutes, depending on your stove, turn them around (that might prove a little tricky) and bake them from the other side for another three to four minutes until the surfaces are browned and solid and the cheese inside is melting softly and you just can’t wait any longer because they smell so good…
- Serve immediately! (Note: if your zucchini pancakes look too greasy for your taste, slide them onto another kitchen paper towel for a minute first so the excess grease can soak off)