Turn Veggies into Pancakes

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Gazing in the fridge, I’ve gotta admit the veggies “that need to be eaten” sometimes just don’t seem that appealing. Especially if there’s a bumper crop of something, like zucchini in there.

But just imagine a crispy zucchini pancake. Like any pancake, it’s even better topped. Topping choices are limitless, but one of my favorites is a cream cheese dip with fresh herbs. Add a dollop to your pancake and suddenly, zucchini’s not so humble.

veggie pancakes

Veggie pancakes are extremely versatile. This basic recipe template will allow you to play around with any combo.

Crispy Vegetable Pancakes

Makes around 12, 2” pancakes

3 ½ cups veggies of choice

2 eggs

¼ to ¾ cup flour

1 tablespoon fresh herbs, finely chopped, or 1 teaspoon dried (optional)

1 clove minced garlic, or 2 chopped green onion or chives

½ teaspoon salt, or to taste

½ teaspoon black pepper, or to taste

Vegetable oil that has a high smoke point, such as peanut or canola

  1. Get your veggies ready:
  • Carrots, cabbage, parsnips or sweet potatoes: grate with large holes on a box grater, or grate in food processor.
  • Summer squash: grate and then toss with a big pinch of salt. Place in a colander over a bowl. After it sits for 10 minutes or so, press with a spoon to get as much moisture out as possible, then dry a little more with a paper towel.
  • Cauliflower or broccoli: cut into one inch chunks and steam or microwave until tender. Drain well, then mash into chucky pieces.
  • Swiss chard, collards, turnip greens or kale: Cut into very thin strips.
  • Corn: cut off cob
  1. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, then add your chosen prepped veggies.
  1. Add ¼ cup flour, herbs, garlic or onion, salt and pepper to the bowl.
  1. Mix together and make a patty to see if it sticks together. If not, add more flour until it does. The squash or other wet vegetables need the most.
  1. Add vegetable oil to skillet that is preheated to medium high. Add a spoonful of batter at a time and flatten with a spatula, leaving a couple of inches between fritters. Cook for 2 – 3 minutes or until browned on bottom and then flip to cook on other side. Place on paper towel lined plate. Serve immediately with chosen topping.

This dip makes a great topping and is packed with fresh, nutritious herbs. Also, delicious on pita chips or raw veggie sticks.

Fresh Herbs with Cream Cheese Dip

1 ½ cups fresh parsley leaves

1 cup fresh mint leaves

½ cup fresh basil leaves

½ cup chopped chives

½ cup plain Greek yogurt

¼ cup mayonnaise

zest of 1 lemon + 2 tablespoons juice

8 ounces Neufchatel cheese, softened at room temperature

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon + freshly ground pepper

Place all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. Scrap the sides with a rubber spatula to make sure all ingredients are incorporated.