It became clear things were desperate when I began staring at the three terribly large zucchinis on my kitchen counter as potential breakfast objects. We'd eaten tens of the squashes for lunch and dinner in stir-fries, salads, breads—even desserts.
But when the morning meal rolled around, there was no choice but to continue. The plants' leaves may be yellowing, but they show no signs of stopping. So rather than revolt, I pulled out my trusted pile of cookbooks and started paging.
The problem was, no author was this desperate. They listed casseroles and gratins, minestrones and breads. Even amidst the many listings for chocolate chip zucchini cookies I could not find an answer. So I turned instead to a new plan. Rather than hunt for a breakfast recipe already involving zucchini, I would think first of what I wanted to eat, and then devise a way of adding the squash to it.
Almost immediately, my thoughts turned to pancakes. I could see the stack, several inches wide and four puffy cakes high, drowning in syrup and topped with a quickly cascading pat of melting butter. I'd been subsisting on breakfasts of fruits and tomatoes, delicious as they were, for months now; it was time for a lumberjack breakfast.
I pulled out the mixing bowl and began adding the traditional ingredients for a hearty stack. I sifted flour and baking powder, sugar and salt, and whisked together a whirlpool of milk and egg. In went vanilla and butter and a touch more flour, and it was time for the moment of truth. I grated a cup of zucchini, and threw it on the pile.
Several minutes later, the griddle was sizzling and the smell of sweet batter steamed up through the kitchen hood. I pulled out plates and syrup, a knife and a fork, and sat down to the perfect stack of my imagination. If it hadn't been for a few green flecks and an ever so slight sweet, zucchini flavor, I may never have known the difference. Zucchini pancakes proved to be one experiment I'll happily repeat.
Mix together 1 cup whole wheat flour, 3/4 teaspoon baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1 and 1/2 tablespoons sugar. In a separate bowl, whisk together 3/4 cup milk, 1-2 tablespoons melted butter, 1 egg, and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla. Add 1/2 to 1 cup shredded zucchini (depending on taste) and stir into dry ingredients until just barely mixed. Fry in butter on hot griddle or cast iron pan until golden. Serve hot with butter and maple syrup.