Zucchini pancakes

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.


Serves 2

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.


Anonymous said...

Thank you. I have 3 baseball bats on my counter and was at a loss.
I'm going to make these right now.

Elspeth said...

Glad I could help...they are sooo good! I am thinking of making round 2 tomorrow, complete with homemade maple syrup from my mom in Maine.

Anonymous said...

We just made these for breakfast, and they were deee-lish! We served them up w/ our own maple syrup, boiled down on our woodstove in March. Thank you for a great recipe. ~Mamarooski

Elspeth said...

Mamarooski: Glad you had time to make them...and enjoy with that delicious same maple syrup! It certainly is a treat...

Anonymous said...

i love zucchini, and i love breakfast! what a combo. another zucchini recipe i tried recently was cheesy zucchini crustless mini-quiches in muffin tins. and no, I didn't make it up!!

Unknown said...

Ok, I was skeptical about a zucchini pancake recipe, but my fridge is filling up fast and I was desperate so I decided to try this and they are some of the best pancakes I have ever eaten! Thank you so much for this recipe!

Elspeth said...

Quinn, I'm glad you gave them a try. Desperate times make for desperate measures, right? But good ones, sometimes. Enjoy the season, and I hope to hear from you again soon.

All the best,

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