Attack of the Ginormous Summer Squash, part V: Zucchini Latkes?

Are you getting as tired of reading about zucchini as I am of eating it?

At this point I have a big ziploc bag of grated zucchini in my fridge (courtesy of my food processor’s grater blade), and pretty much any meal I think I can get away with it, I make something I can toss some of it in.  It’s nice to have it there, to not have to haul out the food processor but actually just have the vegetables there and ready to go.  That and the other ziploc with breadcrumbs from a too-hard loaf of whole wheat bread.  It’s amazing how many nutritionally guiltless meals one can make with grated zucchini and bread crumbs.

Fairly soon, though, I think I’m going to give up on the recipes thing and just blanch and freeze the rest, because I’m just getting a little bored here.  However…tonight when I came home I whipped up a completely experimental recipe that turned out to be really nice and probably really healthy too.

Let me be clear here: I am a Nice Catholic Girl from Chicago, you’d have every right to ask “what does she know from latkes?” And I honestly don’t know much.  But these little pancake thingies were really good, and they looked and tasted not unlike latkes (except for the obvious absence of potatoes and the crispiness only they can really give), and after the fact I found several online recipes for almost exactly the same thing under the title of “zucchini latkes,” so I’m going with the title as above.  Please don’t send your made-latkes-for-the-last-50-years-learned-from-her-mother-who-learned-from-her-mother-and-there’s-no-zucchini-in-latkes grandma to beat me up.  Disclosure has been made here–I am anything but a reliable cultural source. I just throw things into a bowl and then a pan and see what happens, and am thrilled when the results are actually edible.

So:

Zucchini Latkes

Mix together in a bowl:

  • 1 cup coarsely grated zucchini
  • 1 small chopped onion (about half a cup)
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 2 eggs (though I wonder if I could’ve gotten away with 1)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder (or a couple cloves crushed garlic)

Heat olive oil in a skillet, to medium high heat. (For “fried” pancakes, you’d want a good quarter cup; I don’t want that much oil, so I just put a tablespoon or so in.  This sacrifices crispiness for lower fat content, but one must make one’s own choices.)

Drop zuke mixture by spoonfuls into pan; press down to flatten to about half an inch thickness. Let cook a couple of minutes until the bottom is cooked and a little crispy (again, depends on how much oil you’re using), flip, and cook the other side.

Serve with applesauce or sour cream (or yogurt cheese–my favorite healthy substitute!). Munch out.

This made a great late night supper, since I had lunch at about 3 and wasn’t interested in eating before rehearsal tonight.  I thought about just scrambling a couple of eggs, but then I figured, why not try throwing some veggies in there?

This was quick, easy, and not nearly as messy as I expected. I’ll definitely make these again.

–J

The full Giant Mutant Zucchini series:  Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V, and Part IV.

p.s. speaking of food processors…I want to know who the Darwin-award-worthy person was whose idiocy about reaching fingers into a spinning food processor caused the makers to feel the need to craft a machine that will only let you feed into the grater things of maybe a 1.5 inch diameter? It’s this elaborate system of plungers and lids and catches that will only permit the processor to turn on when you’ve eliminated any chance of anything not really skinny going in there. That’s a lot of chopping you have to do before you even get near the food processor, and it’s a big pain in the tail. My mom is still hoarding her pre-liability-concerns Cuisinart that doesn’t have this admirable little safety feature, which still works…I’m jealous.

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Posted on September 10, 2009, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. I remember you telling stories about living on a steady diet of zucchini as a child. I’m surprised that early trauma didn’t stop you from growing them as an adult.

    • greenmomintheburbs

      Well, that’s what’s funny–somewhere along the way I discovered that I loved zucchini when they are small and tender, about 10 inches long or so and just delicious. So through most of the summer we stayed on top of them and picked them at sizes that tasted great, and there was very little recipe-variety involved–we’d just slice or quarter them, saute them with fresh tomatoes and basil and have a lovely light pasta sauce or bruschetta topping, and there you go. Because they were small, they never got out of hand and the one or two zucchinis we harvested on a given day (5 max) were easily consumed before the next batch came to that size.

      But during our vacation they grew, and grew, and grew, and yes, I’ve been dealing with childhood repressed memories through this process, because now we’re into the kind of zucchinis my mom used to try to hide in breads and casseroles when I was a kid. But I also suspect she overdid it and just tripled the amount of zucchini in any given recipe–its ability to travel incognito was thus gravely compromised.

      oh, and by the way, thank YOU for reminding me once again that I’m turning into my mother. 🙂
      –J

  2. I’m going to try this with my boys. My neighbor made latkes last year which they gobbled up but she lost the recipe and I’ve never been able to duplicate it.

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