We were thrilled to be asked back to participate in Summer Fest. In case you are not familiar with what Summer Fest is, the Food Network came up with this brilliant idea to get a group of food-loving bloggers together, every week, to create a dish featuring a seasonal ingredient. We played along last year and had a great time. As well it was the perfect way to be exposed to new ideas using the season’s bounty. We missed the first couple weeks of 2012 but are jumping on board now with summer squash. Speaking of summer squash, are you loaded down with too much? Then you must make this zucchini pancakes with minty dill creme fraiche!
Lenny has this theory that if a leek was dating a zucchini, they would be the “boring” couple at a dinner party. Yes, you guessed it, he is not a fan. Since he is out of town for a few days I decided to take zucchini out for a date. Zucchini is not boring and in fact is quite flexible. It is great as a dinner companion and makes for some tasty sweet talk as well. I am determined to make Lenny like (at least a little) zucchini.
I adore veggie inspired pancakes as they make a great side dish when served with roasted meat or fish. As well they can stand up on their own as a main for a light (and vegetarian) meal when paired with a simple salad. I normally make potato or beet pancakes; but, since Lenny is gone I decided to work on my zucchini pancake recipe.
Normally zucchini pancakes come out a bit soggy when I make them ……. not this time. I coarsely grated the zucchini, lightly salted it and let it sit in a colander for a while. This process drew out unwanted moisture, which was a godsend. This time around I decided to use cornmeal in addition to AP flour. The cornmeal gave the crisp pancakes an unexpected texture that was very enjoyable with every bite. I love how the sides of these tender little pancakes crisp up when fried, creating little chewy ends. I served my not-do-boring date with cream fraiche that I lightly seasoned with fresh dill and mint., and it worked perfectly with the crispy pancakes. I have to admit … I was smitten!
This recipe was a winner, and I cannot wait to make a batch for Lenny. I am sure he will change his mind about zucchini.
Do you have a favorite zucchini recipe? Sweet? Savory?
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Zucchini Pancakes with Minty Dill Creme Fraiche
1 medium-sized zucchini (about 1 1/2 pounds)
2 eggs, lightly whisked
1 cup minced yellow onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup AP flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon olive oil
fresh cracked black pepper
5 ounces creme fraiche
1 tablespoon fresh dill, minced
1 tablespoon fresh mint, minced
Coarsely grate the zucchini.
Place into a colander and lightly sprinkle with some kosher salt. Using your hands gently toss just to mix the salt in with the zucchini. Place the colander in the sink and let sit for 30 minutes.
Mix the creme fraiche with the dill and mint. Stir.
Season with a pinch of kosher salt and black pepper. Stir.
Place in the refrigerator until time to serve.
In a frying pan heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, cook until soft, about 2 – 3 minutes.
Remove from the heat.
Using paper towels wring out the zucchini until no liquid comes through.
Place the zucchini in a mixing bowl, sprinkle the flour and cornmeal over the top.
Add the onion mixture, the eggs and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
Using a spoon mix the ingredients together.
Add about 1/4″ of safflower oil to a deep frying pan.
Using your hands form the zucchini mixture into small pancakes.
Place a few into the frying pan, do not crowd them.
Fry each side until golden brown; about 3 minutes per side.
Remove from the frying pan and let sit on some paper towels, this will absorb any lingering oil. Repeat the process until all the pancakes have been cooked.
Serve the warm pancakes with the seasoned creme fraiche.