It’s everywhere just now –piled high in the market, all over restaurant menus and, if you planted it in your vegetable garden, probably literally underfoot. Yes, it’s the season for zucchini –that abundant summer vegetable that just might be too much of a good thing.
Here’s my favorite zucchini recipe: not a sauté, salad or a bread, but a savory pancake that complements the fresh flavor of zucchini with a little parmesan, a bit of nutmeg and a slice of soft, creamy cheese. I think you’ll love it, even if, like me, you’re not particularly fond of the prolific little summer squash. Serve one pancake as a nice starter for a summer diner. Two –with a simple green salad and a glass of crisp white wine– make a light and luxurious lunch.
(Adapted from “Zucchini Pancakes with Double Brie” in The New Cook by Donna Hay, serves 4 as a main course, 6 as an a starter.) Ingredients 2 cups (475ml) coarsely grated zucchini 2 eggs 3 tablespoons melted butter 3/4 cup (175ml) all-purpose flour 1/3 cup (80ml) grated parmesan cheese kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg About 6 oz (175g) brie cheese About 2 tablespoons chopped chives Instructions 1. Squeeze the grated zucchini by handfuls to get rid of excess water. 2. Put the eggs, butter, flour, parmesan, pepper, nutmeg and four generous pinches of salt into a mixing bowl and whisk together. Then stir in the zucchini. The batter won’t flow freely, but if it’s stiff and sticky, stir in a few drops of water to soften it up. 3. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat for about a minute and then spoon and spread the batter into a roughly circular shape. Cook about 2 minutes on each side until golden. Keep your finished pancakes warm on a plate under a tea towel. 4. Serve topped with a thin slice of brie and a sprinkling of chopped chives — and some fresh tomato if you have it on hand.