Being a pescatarian—who does indulge in pork on occasion—and married to a committed carnivore, it’s not often that we agree on what to cook. But, there are those times when David concurs that we need to eat more greens. And today is one of those days.
One my favorite “go-to” dinners, when I’m not in the mood to cook, is to roast or saute some veggies and serve it with a baked potato or baked sweet potato. It’s light, full of color (which means lots of good vitamins) and yet, satisfying. Of course, David will generally grill some chicken or some other meat, and that’s fine. We’re both happy.
I also love to make zucchini cakes, which truly can be a meal into themselves, and a salad for dinner. I first had them at Whole Foods several years ago and bought them a few more times, until I realized that I could certainly make them at home—and save money, change the ingredients, control the amount of salt and no longer be at the mercy of Whole Foods!
In September 2007, I used a recipe I had pulled from the May 2007 Bon Appetit magazine, made a few changes and have loved it ever since. Although zucchinis can be bought at the store all year long, they’re in season in Texas from summer through fall and they are abundant, which means we eat tons of zucchini in this form, as well as roasted, grilled and in zucchini bread.
If my carnivorous husband loves these, I feel certain the carnivores in your world will love them as well.
- 2 1/2 cups coarsely grated zucchini about 3 medium zucchinis
- 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt divided (1/2 teaspoon for grated zucchinis and 1/2 teaspoon to add with wet ingredients)
- 1 large organic egg beaten
- 1 large organic egg yolk with white set aside in case you need to add more moisture
- 1/2 cup or more all-purpose flour or brown rice flour (if you are gluten-free)
- 1/2 cup fresh Italian parsley chopped
- 1/4 cup green onions chopped
- 1 garlic clove diced
- 1/4 cup corn kernels frozen is fine
- 1/4 cup yellow onion minced
- 1/4 cup green or red pepper green or red pepper, chopped
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese grated
- Basil chopped, for garnish, if desired
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil approximately, you may need more
Place grated zucchini in a sieve or colander, sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and place over a large bowl. Let stand 15 minutes. Press out excess liquid until you can't get any more. (I put the zucchini in a thin kitchen towel to squeeze out the liquid.) Place zucchini in a dry bowl.
To the zucchini, add the beaten egg and egg yolk, 1/2 cup flour, Parmesan cheese, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Mix in parsley, corn, green onion, yellow onion, green and/or red peppers, basil and/or garlic (both of which are optional) and stir until combined. If batter is still very wet, add more flour 1 spoonful at a time. If batter needs more moisture, add the reserved egg white.
Heat 4 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Working in batches, drop by heaping tablespoons (or to the size you want) into the skillet and flatten a bit with the back of the spoon. Fry until golden, about 5 minutes on each side, adding more olive oil as needed. Transfer to paper towels and sprinkle with a little more salt to taste and freshly ground black pepper.
For an extra zing, I top mine with a dollop of chipotle-lime-mayo which I make by adding 2 teaspoons chipotle juice or 1 chopped chipotle to 2 tablespoons mayo and the juice of 1/2 of a lime. But be sure and add the chipotle in small portions so you can adjust to your personal taste...I like things zippy. You can buy a small can of chipotle and refrigerate the leftovers in a plastic container for several months. You could also just use a dollop of sour cream.