What makes a good American breakfast pancake? Fluffy and tall? Dense and moist? Thin and crunchy? Depends who you ask. I don’t have an opinion as me and pancakes we’re not good friends. They don’t like me and as a result I’ve developed an aversion to them too. But there’s a whole world of international pancakes out there, not involving neon syrup, like pa jun, latkes, arepas and crepes. Luckily these savory pancakes do not have a gastro-vendetta for me like their American cousins. I recently made my first okonomiyaki, a Japanese pancake. Now, that’s my kind of pancake; shrimp, green onions with a sriracha mayo.
This recipe is for a savory summer pancake. Use it on your plate where your starch normally sits during the colder months. Its provenance comes from my own laziness; germinating sometime when all I had in the house were zucchini and leftover ricotta, which is how many recipes at our house come in to existence.
Zucchini Pancakes with Herbed Ricotta – Makes 6 pancakes
2 zucchini shredded
¾ cup flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ + 2 tablespoons shredded Romano cheese
2 extra large eggs
¼ cup milk
salt + pepper
Slice off the ends of the zucchini and slice each zucchini into to 3 rounds, place in a colander and salt to remove some moisture, let sit for 20 minutes, rinse, blot dry and shred in a food processor. Combine the flour, cheese and baking powder together. Combine the eggs and the milk and whisk to combine. Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and combine, fold in the zucchini. Het enough oil to coat the pan, but not so it pools. Using a 1/3 cup measurement, scoop the batter in to the pan, cook pancakes over a medium heat for 2 minutes per side. Keep warm in a 200 degree oven while you finish the remaining pancakes, adding oil to the pan if needed.
¾ cup ricotta
¼ cup mixed herbs (I use whatever I have around, a combination of tarragon, dill, basil, parsley, chives – whatever you like)
1 garlic clove blanched or roasted in the oven, minced
2 teaspoons lemon juice
salt & pepper
Combine all the ingredients and serve on the side with the pancakes.
Note: I roast or blanch the garlic to mitigate some of the sharp garlic flavor. If you prefer yours strong then by all means omit that step.