Friday, May 18, 2012

Food on Friday: Zucchini pancakes with feta and salad

I am always searching for simple and small lunch and dinner recipes.  In the summer, that is even more true.  When the temperature goes up, I don't like to eat large or heavy meals.  I feel my best (and best take advantage of the season) when I fill up on fresh fruits and veggies.

Relying on zucchini, a summer squash, this recipe is both fresh and packed with flavor.  I made it two weeks ago for the first time and have made it several times since then.  You can eat the zucchini pancakes plain as a meal or a side dish, or you can serve them under salad, eggs or just about anything. 

Each time I have made them, I have messed around with the ingredients a little.  This last time, I used goat cheese instead of feta and they were delicious.  The goat cheese doesn't fry up quite as well, but the taste is tangier.  

The salad that I topped the pancakes with is a simple one.  The recipe is below the zucchini pancake recipe.  The zucchini pancakes come from a website called cooking-spree and the salad recipe is my own.  I like that it doesn't distract too much from the taste of the pancakes. 

This would be perfect for a sunny summer brunch or appetizer.  It also makes a great lunch for one or two. 

Zucchini pancakes with feta and mint
recipe from Cooking-spree

3 medium zucchini, grated

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

1/4 cup chopped fresh mint

1 (or 2) cloves garlic, minced

3 or 4 finely sliced green onions

1 cup flour

3 eggs, lightly beaten

1 cup grated feta

3/4 cup grated Fontina, Monterrey Jack or other mild white cheese

1/4 cup fresh grated parmesan 

oil for frying

pepper and salt

Combine all ingredients into a large bowl.  Drop by spoonfuls into hot oil and shape into patties.  Sprinkle with salt.  Fry until golden on both sides.  Place on a paper towel to absorb extra oil.  Let cool to room temperature if you are paring them with salad or eat them warm.

Also, experiment with different flavors, while keeping the basic recipe/ratios the same.  I have halved the recipe, with only one egg.  It worked well and was great for me for one lunch and one dinner.  I would experiment with less cheese to make them healthier, gluten-free flour if you can't eat gluten or even a vegan version, with an egg replacer and cheese substitute.

Super simple salad with vinaigrette

Spring or baby greens 
half of a red onion
feta or goat cheese
sunflower seeds or pine nuts
olive oil
white balsamic vinegar 
a dollop of mustard
sugar or honey
salt and pepper

Cut onions into rings and crumble feta/goat cheese.  Put salad greens on top of pancakes or in a bowl (if you are making just the salad).  Add onion and cheese.  Sprinkle on sunflower seeds or pine nuts.  Add a bit of fresh ground pepper.  (I trust that you can determine the ratios on your own.)  

Make the vinaigrette.  In a small jar (I like to use old jam jars), combine 1/4 vinegar and 3/4 oil.    This ratio is very important and good to remember for always making a delicious dressing.  (If I taste it and it tastes just a little too oily, I sometimes add just a small dash more of vinegar.)  Add a bit of sugar or honey until you get your desired sweetness and a dollop of mustard.  You can also add garlic or herbs if you would like, but I didn't do that here.  Shake up the dressing and give it a taste.  Add more of anything if necessary.  Drizzle on salad and pancakes.  

This dressing is great for any salad and I make it every time we eat salad (which is often in the summer).  Since living in Germany, I have never once bought salad dressing at the store.  It is so easy to make and if you eat salads daily, you can make a big jar and save it in the fridge a few days.  It is way more cost effective than buying and must be much healthier.  Salad dressings are full of preservatives, artificial ingredients and things you don't need.  This is super-simple with all real ingredients.  



Kendall Monroe said...

what a good idea!

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