THE WASHINGTON POST – I originally came up with this savoury 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 favourite. 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 savoury 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.
The pancake is best served just-cooked, but it can be made one to two days ahead and reheated in a 350 degree oven. The sauce may be made up to three days ahead and kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
For the sauce:
Half cup plain Greek yogurt (whole milk or low-fat)
One-third cup crumbled feta cheese
One tablespoon chopped fresh dill fronds
One teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Half teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
Half small clove garlic, finely grated or minced
For the pancake:
One tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for coating the pan
Two medium zucchini (one pound total), coarsely grated
Half teaspoon kosher salt
Two large eggs
Half medium onion, coarsely grated and drained
One-third cup whole-wheat pastry flour or all-purpose flour
One teaspoon baking powder
Quarter 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.
Make the pancake:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees; position the rack in the middle. Brush a 10-inch, ovenproof non-stick or cast-iron skillet with a thin coat of oil.
Toss the zucchini with the quarter 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, one tablespoon of oil, baking powder, the remaining quarter 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 five minutes before cutting into wedges. Serve right away with a dollop of the sauce on top or alongside.
Per serving: 192 calories, 10g protein, 20g carbohydrates, 8g fat, 3g saturated fat, 119mg cholesterol, 224mg sodium, 2g dietary fibre, 4g sugar.