If you have a garden, you might be finding yourself with lots of zucchini right about now. Don’t complain, at least you have a garden (I, obviously, have no garden). I found myself with two zucchini I’d bought at the WC Grower’s market and hadn’t used yet; I cannot throw out produce. Produce wasting inspires major guilt in my veggie-loving soul. Can’t make any more zucchini bread? Here is a easy, healthy, and oh-so-tasty way to put the green guys to use.
The only task that took any time here was the draining of the zucchini, but you REALLY don’t want to skip this step. Did you know the main reason veggies are so low in calories is that they’re water packed? Spinach is literally 99% water. Anyways, if you try to cook or bake with a shredded veggie without squeezing out the water first, you’ll be in trouble. To save time, place a mixing bowl on top of the zucchini while it drains and fill the mixing bowl with your other ingredients. You can also make your sauce ahead.
These cakes would be great as a side dish for company but they were quick enough for a week night. Big plus, my 1 year old gobbled it down. Did I mention zucchini was good for you? If you were to eat a whole zucchini, you’d be taking in just 52 calories but almost 100% of your daily vitamin C (along with 4 grams of both fiber and protein). You know how Weight Watchers has all veggies being “free” of points? Makes sense, because who would sit down and “overeat” zucchini? That’d be impossible. Whole foods, people, that’s what it’s all about. Minimally processed, minimally packaged, and PDT (pretty darn tasty).
Zucchini Cakes with Creamy Herb Sauce
1 lb zucchini, grated (2 small, 1 very large, 1 1/2 medium size)
1 tsp. salt
1/4 c. whole wheat flour
2 tbsp. parmesan cheese
1 shallot, minced (or 2 tbsp. of minced onion)
1 egg white
1/2 tsp. pepper
Creamy Herb Sauce
1/2 c. loosely packed fresh basil (parsley would also work)
1/2 c. nonfat or 2% Greek yogurt
2 tbsp. lowfat or light mayonnaise
2 tbsp. water
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
dash black pepper
To cook them
2 tbsp. olive oil
salt to taste
1. Take grated zucchini and place in a colander. Sprinkle the salt over top and toss to combine. Place a mixing bowl or heavy plate on top to apply pressure. Let sit about 25 minutes. The salt and the pressure will help draw out the liquid in the zucchini.
2. Meanwhile, make sauce. Combine all sauce ingredients in blender or food processor and blend until smoothly combined. Set aside until ready to eat (or refrigerate if making ahead).
2. Transfer zucchini to clean dish towel and twist either end, essentially ringing out the zucchini. You want the zucchini as dry has humanly possible.
3. Add flour, cheese and shallot to the bowl and combine. Add egg and egg white and stir until evenly coated.
4. Form mixture into cakes – similar in size to crab cakes. Make them only about 1 inch high.
5. Heat a large nonstick skillet or griddle over medium high heat. Add oil.
6. When pan is hot, add zucchini cakes. Cook without moving until cakes are golden brown. Flip.
7. Cook on second side until golden brown, and then remove to serving plate. Add salt to taste to finished cakes (with the sauce I found they didn’t need salt). Top with prepared sauce.
Can be made up to 24 hours ahead. Bring to room temperature and then refrigerate, covered. To reheat, set on a cooling rack and place in a 350 degree oven until hot.