Monday, August 26, 2013

Meatless Monday: It’s Zucchini Time

No doubt about it, Zucchini Season is in full swing.

Zucchini is among the best bargains of the moment at farmer’s markets. 

This mild summer squash can be lightly sauteed, baked, eaten raw if tender (i.e. small), or baked into a cake or brownies. Zucchini is delicious when prepared any number of ways.

Unadorned zucchini is a low calorie, nutritious foodA 16 gram serving of raw, baby zucchini is just 3 calories, but provides 2% of your Vitamin A and 9% of your Vitamin C.

How big can a zucchini grow? The Official Guinness Book of World Records recorded, “The longest zucchini courgette measured 2.39 m (7 ft 10.3 in) on 17 October 2005 and was grown by Gurdial Singh Kanwal (India) in his garden in Brampton, Ontario, Canada.”

Just remember, the smaller the zucchini, the more tender it will be. If you find yourself gifted with a zucchini log, your best bet is to to cut in half lengthwise, seed it, stuff it, and bake it.

I brought home a couple of medium sized, bright green and tender ones from the market last Wednesday. I decided I wanted to try something new and discovered a number of recipes for Zucchini Pancakes. Here is a recipe inspired by one from Ina Garten, The Barefoot Countessa, on the Food Network website. 

Zucchini Pancakes


  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced onion — either red or Vidalia
  • 1 egg
  • 4 tablespoons unbleached white flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoons of mixed herbs
  • salt and pepper to taste 
  • unsalted butter and canola oil for frying

  • Preheat oven to 350° F.
  • Place a large sheet pan in the oven.
  • In a small bowl, thoroughly beat the egg.
  • Coarsely grate the zucchini using a food processor or the large grating side of a box grater.
  • Pour into a large mixing bowl.
  • Add the beaten egg and the onion.
  • Stir.
  • Add 3 tablespoons of the flour with the other dry ingredients.
  • Stir.
  • If batter is thin, add 1 more tablespoon of flour. [A fresh, tender zucchini will most likely require the extra flour.] 
  • In a large frying pan (cast iron is ideal), over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon of butter with 1 tablespoon of oil.  
  • When butter is melted, but before oil begins to smoke, lower heat slightly.
  • Drop batter into the pan using a soup spoon (one spoonful for each pancake). 
  • Flatten each pancake slightly using the back of the spoon. Three pancakes in the pan at a time is ideal.
  • Turn after two minutes. The pancake should be nicely browned.
  • Cook an additional two minutes and then place the pancakes in the hot oven.
  • Repeat.
  • After the second batch, remove the grease from your pan with a paper towel. Be very careful as you do this.
  • Add new butter and oil, and repeat the process.

It should take about four batches to use up your batter.

When you are all done, be sure to turn off both the burner and the oven.

Serve the pancakes hot.

These are tasty plain, or with a little catsup on the side. Add a salad, and you have a complete meal!

After cooling, store any leftovers in the refrigerator. They are delicious when reheated in the oven or toaster oven.

This recipe can easily be doubled.

Have a great week. Eat well. 

I often blog on food or food issues on Monday in support of Meatless Monday, one of several programs developed in the Healthy Monday project, founded in 2003 in association with Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Communications. Meatless Monday’s goal is “to help reduce meat consumption 15% in order to improve personal health and the health of our planet.”

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