f you are looking for a great recipe to use up your summer zucchini, give these zucchini pancakes a try. There are similar to potato pancakes, but with less carbs (and they are gluten-free). They are packed with flavour, thanks to chickpea flour, leeks, fresh dill and Greek feta cheese. And not only do they make a perfect side dish, but they also double up as a perfect main for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Serve them with yoghurt as a topping (or sour cream) and maybe some healthy garnishes like diced radish, or sprouts.
Want boost your vitamin intake, try serving them with some steamed spinach or beet greens. Or…if you if you really have an appetite maybe some smoked salmon or for meat lovers some authentic dry cured ham (p.s. look for Protected Designation of Origin (PDO)). Friends, there are so many options here!
The path to perfect zucchini pancakes
First of all you want a somewhat crisp exterior. Think fritter. Not soggy pancakes. But we also need to get the inside right. We want them moist on the inside but certainly not soggy or dry. And dry is definitely better than soggy since we can douse them in plenty of sauce! So the most important step in assuring the perfect consistency is by wringing out the excess liquid from the zucchini. In three steps: 1) grate 2) salt and let sit in an sieve for 10 minutes 3) wring out the excess liquid… twice! The rest is failsafe!
So gelingen die low carb Zucchini-Puffer
Das Wichtigste ist die knusprige Kruste. Wenn die Puffer zu wässrig sind, dann machen sie keinen Spaß. Dabei sollte das Innere weich aber nicht „lätschig“ (wie der liebste Schwabe sagt) sein. Ihr glaubt das geht nicht? Wenn sie trocken sind, ist das auf jeden Fall besser, denn Ihr könnt sie ja in einen leckeren Soßen-Dip eintunken. Die perfekte Konsistenz erreicht Ihr, wenn Ihr die Flüssigkeit aus den Zucchini auswringt. Das geht in 3 Stufen: 1. reiben, 2. salzen und 10 Minuten in einem Sieb stehen lassen, 3. zweimal die Flüssigkeit auswringen. Wenn Ihr die drei Schritte hinter Euch habt, dann kann nichts mehr schief gehen.
Zucchini pancakes (gluten-free)
For the pancakes:
- 3 medium zucchini (500g shredded)
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 medium leek (white and light green part), finely chopped
- 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 150 g feta cheese, crumbled
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped dill (25 g bunch)
- ½ cup chickpea flour (60 g)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 4 to 6 tablespoons olive oil for the pan, more as needed
For the yoghurt sauce:
- 170 g container Greek yogurt
- 1 large clove garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice, or more
- pinch of coarse sea salt
- Preheat oven to 250°F / 120°C degrees.
Place the shredded zucchini in a colander over a bowl, and mix with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Allow to drain for 5-10 minutes. Transfer to a clean cloth kitchen towel, and squeeze hard to extract as much moisture as possible. Squeeze a second time (or possibly a third time) - You can expect the volume to shrink to about half what it was originally.
- In a large mixing bowl, add the zucchini, leek and eggs. Using a fork, mix well until combined. Add the olive oil, crumbled feta, fresh dill. Season with salt and pepper and mix well. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder, then add it to the zucchini-egg mixture and mix again until well combined.
- Place a cast iron skillet or other heavy skillet on the stove and heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat.
- Place big heaping tablespoons of zucchini batter in the pan several centimetres apart, allowing room to spread (I make two at a time). Flatten them a little with the spoon; the pancakes should be about 1 cm thick and about 10 cm (4 inches) in diameter.
- Fry until golden on one side, then flip and fry again until golden on other side. Repeat once or twice, frying about 5 to 6 minutes total, so they get crisp on the outside. Transfer to a large plate lined with paper towel and keep warm in oven.
- Continue with the remaining batter, adding more oil to pan as needed. Serve warm.
For yogurt sauce: In a small bowl, combine yogurt, garlic, lemon and a pinch of salt. Mix well, and serve on the side or on pancakes. Enjoy!
- I use a box grated to grate my zucchini, on the bigger holes.
- I use my favourite all-purpose extra-virgin olive oil which work well for baking, frying and for salad dressings.
- I use a heavy-bottomed skillet, which gets quite hot so medium. If using a non-stick skillet you may need to increase the heat slightly (i.e. medium high).
- Make the pancakes smaller if you like. 7,5 cm (3 inches) pancakes will yield 12 pancakes.
- These zucchini pancakes taste great as leftovers. Store them in the fridge in an airtight container and reheat in a skillet the next day.
- I have also made these with potato starch which gives them a fluffier consistency. Regular flour of course can also be used.
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