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Thursday, June 23, 2005

Potato Zucchini Pancakes Recipe

Zucchini is a lovely green color. It is low in calories. It is relatively inexpensive and easy, perhaps too easy, to grow. Large ones are good for stuffing. Their flowers are beautiful and delicate and also good for stuffing. That is the sum of nice things I can say about zucchini. Apologies to Clotilde at Chocolate & Zucchini, but I don't much care for zucchini.

Zucchini has hardly any nutritional value in part because it is over 95% water. The texture is dull and flavor is bland. Summer squash in general is watery but this can be an asset when cooking something that needs extra moisture, like a cake. Shredding zucchini also gives you pretty flecks of color. You can use it in both sweet and savory recipes to add color and moisture. My favorite ways to eat zucchini are in a sweet zucchini bread or added to potato pancakes. It softens up the texture and makes them colorful. Which is about all you can ask from zucchini.

My recipe for Potato Zucchini Pancakes is unusual in that it uses a little cornmeal and some green onions. It is great for breakfast, lunch or as a side dish for dinner. Despite my negative attitude about zucchini, these really are delicious!

Potato Zucchini Pancakes
Makes 9-10 pancakes or 2-3 servings


2 medium russet potatoes, finely shredded (about 2 cups)
2 medium zucchini shredded (about 2 cups)
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
2 green onions, sliced
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 Tablespoons cornmeal
oil for frying
Plain yogurt or sour cream


Place the grated zucchini and potato in a colander medium bowl, toss with salt. Let stand 10 minutes. Squeeze and press firmly to remove all possible liquid. Transfer to a mixing bowl, stir in the egg, scallions, cornmeal and flour.
In large skillet, heat enough vegetable oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Heat and then drop the potato mixture, forming pancakes 1/4 cup at a time, and about 3 inches across, flatten with a spatula; cook until lightly browned, about 3 minutes per side, turning halfway and adding more oil if necessary. Repeat with the remaining mixture. Drain on paper towels and keep on a rack over a cookie sheet in a 200 degree oven until ready to serve. Dollop each pancake with plain yogurt or sour cream.