Vegetable pancakes turn everyday ingredients into a special treat.
TIME: 30 to 40 minutes, plus time to chill
MAKES: 4 servings
2 pounds zucchini
½ medium onion
¼ cup all-purpose flour or bread crumbs, preferably fresh, or more as needed
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup olive oil, or more as needed
1. Trim off the ends of the zucchini. Grate the zucchini and onion on the large holes of a box grater or with the grating disk of a food processor. Squeeze as much water out of it as possible in a mesh sieve or with your hands.
2. Beat the eggs with a fork in a large bowl and add the vegetables, along with the flour, Parmesan, and a sprinkling of salt and pepper. If the batter looks too watery, add more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time. (The mixture can be refrigerated for up to an hour.)
3. When you’re ready to cook, put 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, carefully drop large spoonfuls of batter into the pan and spread them out with a fork to flatten them a little. You’ll need to work in two or three batches to avoid overcrowding the pan.
4. Cook, undisturbed, until the pancakes are browned on the bottom, 5 to 8 minutes, adjusting the heat as necessary so they sizzle without burning. Turn them over and cook for another 5 to 8 minutes on the second side. As the pancakes finish cooking, transfer them to paper towels to drain, add 1 tablespoon more oil to the pan if it looks dry, and repeat the process until the batter is gone. Serve the pancakes hot or at room temperature.
- Hand grating results in slightly differently shaped shreds than food-processor grating, but both work.
- You can make the patties bite-sized (for hors d’oeuvres or snacks) or big (for a main course or sandwich filling)— but don’t make them more than ½ inch thick or they won’t cook through.
- Other vegetables to use for pancakes (start with about 2 pounds raw): grated carrots, celery root, beets, fennel, sweet potatoes, or winter squash; cooked spinach or other greens (squeezed between your hands to remove excess water); and chopped bean sprouts.
- Vegetable Pancakes with Asian Flavors: Skip the cheese and add 1 tablespoon grated or minced fresh ginger, 1 tablespoon minced garlic, and ¼ cup chopped scallions to the batter. Use vegetable oil instead of olive to fry the pancakes.
Photos by Romulo Yanes