My tweaks were about saving time. I didn't peel the zucchini. I didn't plan ahead, so I didn't have time to strain the zucchini for four hours. I just squeezed them in a dish towel (it took two to get the water out) and went with it, and had zero problems. I also used garlic powder instead of fresh garlic, just because I was in a hurry, but would normally use fresh. And I cooked them in a little butter in a nonstick pan, instead of oil in cast iron. Dipped in seasoned yogurt, they were delicious and crazy fast.
Growing up, my grandfather would grow zucchini in his backyard, so one dish that automatically transports me to those summer visits with him is zucchini pancakes. Like my grandfather's recipe for meatballs, the key to these zucchini pancakes is knowing when the batter "feels" right — the ratio of shredded zucchini to flour to eggs is based much more on texture than on an exact measurement of ingredients. If you're using three zucchini, start with two eggs and a quarter cup of flour, and add from there until the mixture is just bound together. Serves 4
- 3 medium-sized zucchini
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons grapeseed oil
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
- 1 teaspoon cayenne
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
At least 4 hours before you're ready to fry the pancakes, peel 1 of the zucchini and then shred all of them using a grater. Bundle the shreds into a clean kitchen towel or cheesecloth and place in a colander set over a large bowl. Salt the zucchini evenly, and then weigh down the zucchini with a heavy plate or bowl. Place the whole thing in the refrigerator and let the zucchini drain for at least a few hours.
When you're ready to cook the pancakes, preheat the oven to 200F.
Heat the oil in a cast-iron skillet (or any heavy-bottomed frying pan) over high heat. Pat the zucchini dry to remove any remaining moisture, then transfer to a dry mixing bowl. Add 2 of the eggs and 1/4 cup of the flour, then mix and add the remaining egg and flour if the mixture is still not coming together fully. Stir in the garlic, cayenne, and onion powder.
Add the zucchini batter to the pan in spoonfuls, making sure to fry only a few at a time so as not to crowd them. Let the pancakes cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, and line a plate with paper towels for draining.
After each batch of pancakes has drained slightly, transfer them to a baking sheet and put them in the oven to keep warm and crisp-up. Serve immediately after the batches are complete.