Zucchini pancakes with feta & mint
Can we all just agree that we have very little interest in hearing more abdominal surgery or recovery-complication stories? Can we agree too that surgical scars really aren’t all that attractive, and most aren’t even very impressive, so they’re probably best kept under wraps? Can we all agree that what brings us here is either the necessity of putting full plates on the table, or the sheer Love of doing so? Oh good, thank you! You don’t know how happy that makes me!
For the remainder of the summer and probably through September, I’m focusing my food-related attention on all the fresh, eye-poppingly colorful bounty in farmers’ markets or – if we’re so lucky – our own overflowing gardens. And, just to be a tiny bit contrary, I’m beginning with Z.
A dear aunt of ours – Maureen – was an artist. She was one of those rare individuals who created beauty out of whatever materials her hands touched. She painted hundreds of beautiful canvases; she was a master gardener whose green thumbs astounded; and she was a pastry chef whose desserts had to have been divinely inspired (or maybe Maureen was always an angel.) I think she’d be surprised to know though, out of all the beautiful and spectacular things she left us, this humble little vegetable pancake is one of the things I remember most fondly. Somehow, it just takes like home.
Tonight it’s an easy dinner for us. A short stack of these lacy little cakes, juicy slices of heirloom tomatoes with coarse salt and olive oil, a Greek flatbread with olives and mint, and a little leftover grilled halibut.
I never heard our Greek Ya-ya refer to these as anything. I doubt that she ever tasted them. But I love to imagine what she’d call them if she had. I think something like: zucchini pana-cake-ya’s. Maureen simply called them zucchini patties.
zucchini pancakes with mint and feta
(or what Ya-ya would have said)
- 3 medium zucchini, grated
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
- 1 (or 2) cloves garlic, minced
- 3 to 4 finely sliced green onions
- 1 cup flour
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 cup grated feta (about 5 ounces)
- 3/4 cup grated Fontina, Monterrey Jack or other mild white cheese (about 2-1/2 ounces)
- 1/4 cup grated fresh Parmesan (about 1-1/2 ounces)
- oil for frying (grapeseed or canola both good)
- pepper (add salt to taste if needed later)
Combine all ingredients into a large bowl. Drop by spoonfuls into hot oil and shape into patties. Sprinkle with salt. Fry until golden on both sides. Place on a paper towel to absorb extra oil, and keep them warm if you like. These can be eaten hot or cold, and they’re delicious as part of a vegetarian meal, or with chicken or seafood.