Zucchini plants are like cats: They both look harmless when small, so you think the more the merrier. One plant is always enough, but it is hard to plant just one seed in case it doesn’t come up. Then the sprouts are hard to thin.. what if something eats it? Then before you know it, there are five enormous plants growing giant green clubs in the dead of night, just after you’ve checked all the plants. Well, that’s my situation anyway. Too many cats; too many zucchinis. When there are enough all at one time, we’re taking them (the zucchinis, not the cats) to the Fallbrook Food Pantry along with pumpkins and tomatoes. Until then, we’re exploring new ways to eat them. And I refuse to sully cheesecake with zucchini! (yes, there is such a recipe!).
My son who is studying Culinary Arts at the University of Hawaii sent me a link to smittenkitchen.com with an exceptional zucchini pancake recipe… not sweet, very light and completely tasty. I’ll include my version. But first I want to explain my ‘discovery’, which everyone but me probably knows about anyway.
I had grated zucchini for bread and had some left over. It was dinnertime and I was alone, so I experimented. I heated a skillet with a little olive oil in it, threw in the grated, undrained zucchini, and stirred it around on medium-high heat for about five minutes. When it was beginning to wilt and brown a little on the bottom, I sprinkled sesame oil on it lightly, and then gave it a touch of Bragg’s Amino Acids, which I use for many things. A light soy sauce may substitute, but Bragg’s is high in nutrition, low in salt and a wonderful flavoring. Buy it online or in health food stores. The zucchini came out tasty and with a mouth-feel of wet wide noodles. It was fantastic. I’ve since made it for my daughter a couple of times, and each time we wanted more! Imagine that! On the plus side, it used up a medium zucchini.
You really must give these pancakes a try.
- 2 large eggs
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons sugar (optional)
- ¼ cup buttermilk or soured milk
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups shredded zucchini
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon table salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon ground or freshly grated nutmeg
- ¼ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)
- Oil, for coating skillet
- In a large bowl whisk eggs, olive oil, sugar, buttermilk and vanilla until smooth.
- Stir in zucchini.
- In a smaller bowl, combine flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg.
- Stir dry ingredients into zucchini batter, mixing until just combined.
- Stir in chocolate chips.
- Heat oil or butter in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat.
- Scoop ¼-cup rounds of batter in pan so they do not touch.
- Cook until bubbles appear on the surface, about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Flip pancakes and cook another minute or two.
- Keep pancakes warm in on a tray in the oven set on low or in a toaster oven.
- Repeat with remaining batter.
- Serve warm with or without traditional pancake toppings.
- Pancakes freeze well.