Thursday, July 17, 2008

A "Grate" Way to Use Summer Vegetables

Mark Bittman, the NY Times columnist and cookbook author, has been doing a blog for a few months. I generally enjoy his columns and recipes, although he sometimes displays a foodie-elite attitude that gets on my nerves. (For example, one blog post focused on his trying to find good uses for microwaves, an appliance he previously disdained. At least he was tryin'.) One recipe he posted in the blog (cleverly named Bitten) has been a repeater in my house the last few weeks. It can be made with just about any gratable vegetable, but I've just used zucchini so far. I can see lots of potential for riffs and variations with herbs, seasonings, toppings, and vegetable mixtures. As you can see from the ingredient list, these don't burst with strong flavor, but simple flavors are OK sometimes. I really like the fact that they are mostly a vegetable dish rather than a batter-heavy true fritter. A larger serving is hearty enough to serve as a main course with several additional sides. You could also use them as a base under something like a piece of grilled fish or chicken. I LOVE to top mine with a little dollop of reduced-fat sour cream or whole milk yogurt. A squeeze of lemon is lovely too.

Italian-Style Vegetable Pancakes

Mark Bittman, New York Times

Yield 4 servings

About 2 pounds zucchini, eggplant or turnips, peeled if necessary
1/2 onion, peeled and grated
2 eggs, lightly beaten (I use 4 egg whites)
1/4 cup flour or plain bread crumbs, more as needed (I tend to use more)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 to 4 tablespoons butter or extra virgin olive oil (I use cooking spray in a non-stick skillet)

Grate vegetables by hand or with grating disk of a food processor. In a bowl, mix together all ingredients except the butter or oil. The mixture should be fairly loose but not liquid; add a little more flour or bread crumbs if necessary.

Put the butter or oil in a large skillet and turn heat to medium-high. When the oil is hot, put large spoonfuls of batter in the pan. Cook, turning once, until nicely browned on both sides, 10 to 15 minutes total. Serve hot or at room temperature.

The full blog post is here: Italian-Style Vegetable Pancakes

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I made these recently and loved them! I agree that the veggies are showcased instead of the binder. I also reviewed them on my blog. Congrats on getting your blog started back up, I look forward to reading more!!