Foodie Fighter! (Zucchini Pancakes with Tahini-Yogurt Dressing and Oven-Roasted Garam Masala Garlic Scapes)
[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.
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
- 8 c. shredded zucchini
- 1 c. arugula, chopped
- 8 eggs, separated
- salt & pepper
- 2/3 c. whole wheat flour
- butter & olive oil for frying
- 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
- 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.
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.
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.
- 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.
While pancakes are cooking, make Tahini-Yogurt Dressing:
- Place yogurt, tahini and umeboshi/salt in bowl and whisk thoroughly until thick and smooth.
- Gather hungry friends for brunch.
- Place dressed greens on plate, top with two pancakes, generous dollop of dressing, two scapes, and toasted sesame seeds.
- 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.