Summer Staple

Summa, Summa, Summa-time.

I like food. I love food. One of the beautifully magnificent things about food is how it changes with the season. Fall is fantastic for delicious apples, plump pumpkins and cranberries. Winter is a wonderful time for winter squashes (duh), clementines, broccoli and cauliflower. Spring supplies fiddle heads, rhubarb,  scallions and peas. And spectacular summer provides a smorgasbord of phenomenal fruits and veggies including watermelon, sweet corn, tomatoes, every type of berry you can think of, and the reason for this post today; zucchini.

As a kid I wasn’t too big on vegetables. I didn’t go to the extremes like some members in my family by claiming “carrots make me choke” just to get out of eating them, or saying I have a thing against mayonnaise because I stepped in it with my bare feet one time (you both know who you are). My methods were a bit sneakier, I’d chew my food for a bit before “wiping my mouth”  with my napkin, which was inexplicably heavier and soggier when I pulled it away.  Or I’d simply just slip under the table and crawl away, completely unnoticed (don’t even ask me how I did that, I’m so clumsy now I can’t tiptoe through a room without making a ruckus).  One thing I would never, ever avoid however, is zucchini pancakes.

Maybe it was the excitement of having breakfast for dinner, maybe it was the absurd amount of maple syrup I’d smother them with. Whatever it was, I ate those pancakes, zucchini and all. But I wouldn’t (still don’t) have one or two, oh no. I’ll eat as many of those savory suckers as possible until my stomach starts bursting and it becomes necessary to change into pants with an elastic waistband.

I can’t think of one summer that’s gone by that hasn’t included zucchini pancakes. Even when I spent a summer in New York City I called up my mom, got the famous family recipe and my roommates and I cooked those bad boys up, and gobbled them all down. Not only is zucchini low in calories, but they also contain useful amounts of folate, potassium and vitamin A (Dr. Oz would be so proud). They are also a pretty watery vegetable which is lovely when making muffins or bread as it keeps them perfectly moist.

The true beauty of this recipe is that you can use regular old pancake mix to save you some time. It’s funny, as much of an advocate as I am for making everything from scratch, pancakes is something I’ve never attempted (my sister just had a heart attack reading that- I’m sorry!). I’d advise using the pancake mix that asks you to use milk and eggs rather than the just add water type. The amount of extra ingredients also depends on how many pancakes you plan on making, but we’ll get to that…

Zucchini Pancakes

1¼ cups pancake mix (I used Aunt Jemima, and followed the recipe to make 10-11 pancakes)
1 egg
½ cup milk (the box calls for 1 cup but due to the wateriness of the zucchini I cut it in half)

1 medium zucchini, shredded (don’t peel it- the skin holds all the good stuff)
¼ onion, shredded
1 tsp garlic salt
⅓ cup parmesan cheese

If you have a Cuisinart that would be the best thing to use to “blend” the zucchini and onion together. I don’t have one so I grated it, and then used my immersion blender to do the rest. If you’re making more pancakes, you’ll need to use more zucchini/onion mixture. It should be a 1:1 ratio with equal parts pancake mix and zucchini/onion mix. Once you mix the mixes (got that?)  let the batter rest for a few minutes so it’ll thicken. While it’s resting heat up a skillet with a little bit of butter and a little bit of oil (Paula Deen would be so proud), I don’t know why you need both (Mom? Any insight?) but DO IT. Maybe it’s because when you put the pancakes in there to fry it gives them a nice little crispy crispness around the edges, which I just adore. Let them brown, flip ’em and brown the other side. Voila!

Even my main man who “hates zucchini” enjoyed them, but honestly even if he hadn’t liked them it would not have deterred me from making them every summer, for the rest of our lives. A summer staple in my family growing up and another new tradition to carry on in my new family. So go out there and get those zucchs before the summer ends! These are great for breakfast or dinner and go great with bacon (mmmm… bacon), sausage, fresh tomato or as my mom would say, fresh sweet corn. Enjoy!

Zucch, zucch riot- riot!

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4 thoughts on “Summer Staple

  1. Liz, wonderful write-up! Just yesterday I was thinking about making these and then I sit down at the computer and there you are with a recipe for me. They are so yummy and they turned out great, we had em for dinner with broiled salmon and fresh green beans, summer, love it!

  2. The food looks fantastic (wish it was in front of me) & you are HILARIOUS! I really enjoy reading your posts, but this post in particular holds a special place in my heart. Why? Because I never understood why in the world there was an option to use words with lines through them. I mean seriously, it ranked up there with the hot dog cooker in my world. Um, hello? If you don’t want the words there is a thing called backspace, right?… But not only did you use it perfectly (and humorously), you taught me why it exists! Yippee! I look forward to reading more from you!

    1. Thank you!! I hear what you’re saying about the crossing words off option. I was almost compelled to make a list of things, just so I could cross them off, haha. I’m so glad you enjoy the blog- I’ll do my best not to disappoint!

  3. glad the pancakes came out great! try fresh garlic sometime when youre feeling adventurous 🙂 i will also admit, my from scratch pancakes are lacking, i usually use box mix!

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