not having to make a pie each week has left me searching for something to do. who wants to clean the house or do laundry? me neither!!! so i jumped at the chance to participate in a community pick recipe test on food52.com. my choice was the greek style zucchini pancakes. zucchini is one of my favorite things from the garden and i miss it now that winter has arrived. luckily, my herbs were still growing and i had plenty of mint, parsley and chinese leeks. the recipe calls for chives but chinese leeks are so similar in appearance and while they have a hint of garlic in the flavor, they are a great substitution.
mint on the left, leeks in the middle and flat parsley on the right. with the cold temperatures, these herbs are still producing and are not sending out flowers. we also have some oregano, thyme, sage and rosemary out there too.
the directions called for grating the zucchini, placing it in a colander lined with cheesecloth and then salting it to draw out the moisture. when i did this, i could hear a sizzling/bubbling noise and it was amazing how much liquid i was able to squeeze out. i was skeptical that what started out as nearly 5 cups of grated zucchini would eventually end up as two cups but it did. just look at all of that green juice!
to save time, i used a small portions scoop-#50 to be exact. it helped me get a consistent size and the recipe stated i would get 24 small pancakes and i got exactly that-24. my old paella pan gets a frequent work out and it was perfect for frying these pancakes.
Makes 12-3 inch pancakes, or 24 bite sized pancakes
2 pounds green zucchini, 2 cups aftergrating and squeezing as much moisture as possible
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons chives, minced
2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves, minced
2 tablespoons fresh curly parsley, minced
1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest(finely zested)
4 tablespoons crumbled Greek feta
1 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
4 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
olive oil for frying pancakes
using the large holes on a box grater, shred the zucchini. line a colander with cheese cloth and put the zucchini in the colander. sprinkle about a tablespoon of salt and toss the zucchini. try to extract as much liquid as you can from the shredded zucchini. pick up the cheesecloth and wring as much more as you can until you feel the zucchini is pretty dry. add the herbs, pepper flakes and zest and mix. add the flour and baking powder and eggs and mix. pour a very thin layer of olive oil into a frying pan and heat over medium high heat. using a tablespoon, scoop a heaping spoonful into the pan and flatten the top a little. this should make a 3 inch patty. repeat until the pan is full. fry until a nice brown and flip and cook the other side. for bite sized appetizers, use a teaspoon. set aside on paper towels and finish the rest of the pancakes.
serve alone or with your favorite yogurt (Greek, of course). The sauce should be very simple, like just with some lemon zest or chives, because there are so many flavors going on in the pancakes.