I originally came up with this savory skillet pancake as a way to make a dent in the many pounds of zucchini a friend gifted me from her garden, but it is now a perennial favorite. In it, shredded zucchini, the star here, is mixed with just enough egg and flour to bind it into a tender pancake. The batter is poured into a skillet and then is baked, not fried, as zucchini pancakes tend to be, making it more healthful and far less messy than using the stove-top.
The trick to making the pancake tender — not soggy — is to salt the shredded zucchini a bit, let it drain for fifteen minutes, and then squeeze as much water out of it as possible. Don’t be timid about the squeeze either — you want to put some hand pressure into it as it sits in a strainer — or you can put it into a cheesecloth and twist to expel the water that way.
Once baked, the pancake emerges from the oven golden and fragrant, ready to be dolloped with the most heavenly, creamy yogurt-feta sauce that’s flecked with fresh dill. It makes for a wonderful brunch or lunch main course and can also be served as one of an array of small plates for dinner or a party.
Big Zucchini Pancake with Yogurt-Feta Sauce
In this savory skillet pancake, zucchini is the star, mixed with just enough egg and flour to bind it into a tender pancake. It is baked until golden and fragrant, ready to be dolloped with the most heavenly yogurt-feta sauce that’s flecked with fresh dill. To avoid a soggy result, be sure to squeeze as much of the water out of the zucchini as possible.
MAKE AHEAD: The pancake is best served just-cooked, but it can be made 1 to 2 days ahead and reheated in a 350 degree oven. The sauce may be made up to 3 days ahead and kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
For the sauce:
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt (whole milk or low-fat) 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese (1 3/4 ounces) 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill fronds 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice 1/2 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil 1/2 small clove garlic, finely grated or minced
For the pancake:
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for coating the pan 2 medium zucchini (1 pound total), coarsely grated 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 2 large eggs 1/2 medium onion, coarsely grated and drained 1/3 cup whole-wheat pastry flour or all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Make the sauce: In a medium bowl, stir together the yogurt, feta, dill, lemon juice, olive oil and garlic. Refrigerate until you’re ready to serve.
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Make the pancake: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees; position the rack in the middle. Brush a 10-inch, ovenproof nonstick or cast-iron skillet with a thin coat of oil.
Toss the zucchini with the 1/4 teaspoon salt in a colander set over a bowl and let drain for 15 minutes. With your hands, squeeze as much water as possible out of the zucchini. (You can save the water for another use, such as a soup, stew or stock.)
In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, then add the strained zucchini and onion. Add the flour, 1 tablespoon of oil, baking powder, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of salt and the pepper and stir to combine. Pour the batter into the greased skillet and spread it evenly with a spoon.
Bake, about 30 minutes, until the pancake is set in the middle, browned on the edges and is golden brown on top. Transfer the pancake to a cutting board and allow to rest for 5 minutes before cutting into wedges. Serve right away with a dollop of the sauce on top or alongside.
Nutrition | Per serving: 192 calories, 10 g protein, 20 g carbohydrates, 8 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 119 mg cholesterol, 224 mg sodium, 2 g dietary fiber, 4 g sugar
(From nutritionist and cookbook author Ellie Krieger.)
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