Of course, I have zucchini in the garden. What gardener doesn’t? (Except perhaps for the smart people who only plant one plant.) This year I am growing Cocozelle and Costata Di Romanesco, plus a yellow patty pan called Sunburst, and a pretty yellow summer squash with a green end called Zephyr. There have been a couple times when I briefly turned my back on the garden, and you know what happened. So, grating those bigger ones to use in various dishes seems like a good idea.
You’ve seen recipes here for using zucchini in Deep Dark Chocolate Zucchini Cake and zucchini relish, and miscellaneous other things. I probably even mentioned already the benefit of freezing grated zucchini and summer squash in one cup blobs to heave into soup, tomato sauce, or to use in zucchini bread recipes, and even cake in winter.
For some reason, though, this zucchini season, Toby and I have fallen in love with these little fritter-like zucchini cakes as a vegetable side or even as a main course. It helps to put some wonderful thing on top like a sauce or chutney but they are good plain with salt and pepper. And you absolutely have to eat them fresh and hot right off the pan before they have a chance to get soggy.
With a minor flood of vegetables at this season, it is a good idea to have a few expedient preservations methods at hand. Freezing grated summer squash is one of the quickest ways to handle a lot of squash, especially if you have a grater attachment for a food processor. I merely drop clumps of grated squash on a baking sheet lined with waxed paper; then I lay another piece of waxed paper on top, and flatten them. I stick the pan in the freezer, and when the clumps are frozen solid, I slide them into a large freezer bag. That’s all. When I need them, they are easy to pry individually from the paper. In baking recipes, you have to squeeze the thawed zuke to remove excess water. Most of my frozen squash ends up added to soup or pasta sauce for bolstering our vegetable intake, but would be perfectly suitable for these lovely little zucchini cakes.
Vary zucchini cakes by adding fresh or dried herbs like dill, basil, parsley, tarragon, oregano, plus garlic, onions, or shallots. I had some garlic-scape pesto that I used in one batch. Salt and pepper are a must.
How much flour you need will vary depending on how juicy your squash is. I sprinkle it lightly over the grated squash and toss it with my hands to distribute it. You don’t need much at all, just enough to coat the squash very lightly, so that it feels dry to the touch.
Fried Zucchini Patties
2 cups grated zucchini (or summer squash)
¼ cup flour
2 eggs, beaten
Salt and pepper
Finely chopped onion to taste, optional
Minced garlic to taste, optional
Herbs to taste, optional
Drop the zucchini into a medium mixing bowl, and sprinkle the flour over it, Toss to distribute the flour. Add the beaten eggs, plus salt and pepper, and any seasonings you desire. Mix well. Lightly oil a frying pan, and heat it until it is quite hot. Drop patties on the pan, and then reduce the heat somewhat. Fry for about five minutes a side, or until the patties are a golden brown and crisp. Serve immediately.
Makes about six patties.