My brave Vermont quest to bring together food-love and mom-life.


Foodie Fighter! (Zucchini Pancakes with Tahini-Yogurt Dressing and Oven-Roasted Garam Masala Garlic Scapes)

Posted on June 29, 2009 by crankycheryl
Fresh From the Farm

Fresh From the Farm

[7/2/09 Update. The pancakes won!  Thanks for voting, friends!  Oh, plus the picture of those garlic scapes made it onto Photograzing.  Hard to take credit for what a beautiful vegetable that is … ]

My head will explode if I don’t open this post with just a couple thoughts on zucchini.  I like its flavor, its texture, its versatility, how easy it is to grow, how it’s a harbinger of summer and the harvest in full swing.  But, my friends, it has essentially no nutritional value.  If you are going to stealth vegetables into your children via baked goods, pick pumpkin puree, or chopped spinach, or shredded carrots, or tomato paste.  Eat zucchini, sure, but don’t let its presence fool you into thinking you’ve taken care of vitamins (whole serving gives only 9% of vitamin C, and less of anything else), fiber (nope), or anything but putting something greenish on the plate.

Okay then,  with that said, it’s a terrific ingredient to have to build a Foodie Fights challenge around, and it made me especially glad to be selected as one of the food bloggers participating in their sixth battle.  Even with the addition of the garam masala, the possibilities were nearly endless.

But my all-time favorite zucchini dish has got to be the classic Moosewood Restaurant‘s Zucchini-Feta Pancakes that my mother’s been making forever, from this cookbook in fact:

zucchini foodie fight 007

So that’s what I based my entry upon.

Zucchini-Arugula Pancakes with Tahini-Yogurt Dressing and Oven-Roasted Garam Masala Garlic Scapes
Inspired by Moosewood Cookbook’s Zucchini-Feta Pancakes
Serves 8


  • 8 c. shredded zucchini
  • salt
  • 1 c. arugula, chopped
  • 8 eggs, separated
  • salt & pepper
  • 2/3 c. whole wheat flour
  • butter & olive oil for frying

Tahini-Yogurt Dressing

  • 2 c. Greek-style plain yogurt, or 3 cups plain yogurt (see notes in directions)
  • 1 c. tahini
  • 1 T. umeboshi vinegar, or salt to taste

Oven-Roasted Garlic Scapes

For serving:

  • 2 c. mixed greens per plate, plain or dressed with a simple lemon vinaigrette
  • 1 t. toasted sesame seeds per plate (toast by placing in single layer in toaster oven for 250 for 5 – 8 minutes, or until lightly golden).


1.  First, if using regular yogurt, place double layer of cheesecloth in a colander, put colander over a deep-dish pie plate, and place 2 cups of yogurt over cheesecloth.  Let drain in refrigerator for at least one hour, or overnight.  Or you could skip this step by buying the denser, creamier Greek-style yogurt instead.

zucchini foodie fight 006

2.  Roast the scapes:  Preheat oven to 400.  Leave them whole, toss with the olive oil, salt, and garam masala, and spread on a cookie sheet.  Roast for 10 minutes, then turn oven down to 350 and roast for 25 minutes more.  When I prepared this, I started them at 450, and then turned it down to 375.  This resulted in very browned scapes, which I rather liked, but the tasters were split on whether they were too done or perfectly crispy.  Either option will give good results – just do what you prefer.  When done, taste to assure garam masala flavor.  If you’d prefer it a little stronger, sprinkle on just a little more, then place aside.

zucchini foodie fight 009

zucchini foodie fight 020

3.  Make pancakes:

  • Place grated zucchini in colander and salt lightly.  Let it stand for 15 minutes over sink or pie plate, then rinse and press out excess water.
  • Preheat oven to 170.
  • Combine zucchini, egg yolks, arugula, salt, pepper, and flour.
  • Beat egg whites until nearly stiff, then fold into first mixture.

zucchini foodie fight 014

  • Fry in large skillet with 1 T. butter & 1 t. olive oil on both sides, until golden.  Hold in warm oven until all are cooked.

zucchini foodie fight 017

While pancakes are cooking, make Tahini-Yogurt Dressing:

  • Place yogurt, tahini and umeboshi/salt in bowl and whisk thoroughly until thick and smooth.

zucchini foodie fight 010

To serve:

  • Gather hungry friends for brunch.

zucchini foodie fight 018

  • Place dressed greens on plate, top with two pancakes, generous dollop of dressing, two scapes, and toasted sesame seeds.

zucchini foodie fight 023

  • Enjoy!  Unless you’re E. (“Mommy!  I want to spit this out!”) or Z.  (“I don’t like ALL of it!),” in which case you can just have the fruit and cupcakes and some bread with peanut butter.

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  • t hasuga

    They were totally amazing, and I say this in spite of a horrid photo of me appearing on this blog…again! 😛

  • these sound very yum – since it’s winter here, no garlic scapes around to try them with. Could sub scallions perhaps? (I often start scapes in some liquid to braise them to softness before browning them, on stove top or in oven, in the same pan.) But I’m being an idiot as I cannot figure out if I successfully voted for you…I hit the vote button that showed up at the top of your blog but am not sure it registered or was the right thing to click?

  • Christian

    Hey Cheryl, I voted for you! Not an easy choice though! Man that was some stiff competition you came up against, especially that chocolate cake – you know me and my baked goods. Ohh, but I know your talent level, so you got my vote. Good luck girl!


  • Nice recipe! I used to live in Ithaca, NY and started to fall in love with the Moosewood restaurants shortly before moving to NJ Jersey. Yum! Recipe looks great–Good luck!

  • This looks so good! You also take gorgeous pics. Pancakes never would have occurred to me. Very creative!

  • Thanks Tina! Yours looks great too. Chocolate is a tough competitor always, and yours sounds especially heavenly. (I’m originally from Passaic, by the way. Are you anywhere near?)

  • Thanks Sandra! The really creative idea was one crankyGreg came up with just as we were snarfing up the last of the pancakes, which I’ll post later this week. As far as the photos, it’s kind of nutty what you can do once you find the macro setting on your camera … after you’ve had it for a year … and never bothered to find out what that tulip button was for before …

  • Thanks Melissa! I might think leeks rather than scallions (which should be available there in opposite-season-land now maybe?), because it’s nice to use something that would get crispy/crunchy rather than just kind of melty. Here’s the link for voting if you should find yourself with a minute to do so. I don’t think it was yet active when you posted this.

  • Thanks neighbor! And I sure agree on the quality of the competition. Nice company to be in, whatever the outcome.

  • Dorothy

    Wonderful and varied
    Complex, subtle flavors
    Refined and satisfying

    I VOTED!!!!!!

    Thanks for the treat!!!!!!!

  • i’ve never had a scape! but youve motivated me to try to hunt some down lol

    nice recipe, lookin good! 🙂

  • Ohh, these look great! I’m still laughing over what E and Z said, too funny!

  • I love the idea to use scapes in this. I’ve never roasted them, only grilled. Looks great! Good luck!

  • Pingback: I am not a patient woman « Downsized!()

  • Thanks, Downsized. Your cake looked deeeeee-licious and it was fun cooking with you.

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