My love for potato pancakes knows no bounds, but sometimes I'm looking for something with a little more color and personality. Move over, potatoes — these savory vegetable pancakes make an even better (and healthier) treat.
A vegetable fritter isn't anything new, but during the doldrums of winter, they can be just the thing to liven up your kitchen, clean out your pantry and fridge, and pack some extra nutrients into those little ones.
Although these pancakes (or are they "fritters"?) are made with zucchini and carrots, you can add in almost any vegetable you need to use up. Have some leftover radishes? Shred them too! What about the end of that sad bunch of kale? Slice it up and toss it in! Have a little "green juice" left over from your last cleanse? Use it in place of the liquid and make the most of it. This recipe is versatile and a great way to whip up a meal in a flash.
In addition, these bad boys freeze perfectly. Just slip squares of parchment paper between each fritter before freezing so they're easy to take out and pop in the toaster or microwave when you want them. They can be a quick snack on the go or a convenient lunch during the work week. Want to see how they're made?
I definitely think of these more as veggie pancakes than fritters. Instead of being fried, they're light and fluffy, and the vegetables just feel a bit more fresh.
This recipe uses carrots, zucchini, scallions, and parsley, but don't feel limited to just those veggies. The sky's the limit when it comes to fillings. I skipped the parsley in favor of kale that was sitting in the fridge, and also added some chopped chives. Next time I plan to use cilantro.
And, of course, veggie pancakes aren't complete without the toppings. Greek yogurt or sour cream, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, and some extra sliced scallions make a delicious combo. A dollop of tzatziki or labne would also fit the bill.
- Kelli, March 2015
Lay out your ingredients. (Plus anything that needs to be used up in the fridge)
Savory Vegetable Pancakes
Makes about 16 pancakes
1 large zucchini
8 medium carrots, peeled
1 bunch green onions
3 cloves garlic
1/2 bunch fresh parsley
1 recipe pancake batter, such as Lofty Buttermilk Pancakes
Grate the zucchini and carrots using the large holes on a box grater. Thinly slice the onions, mince the garlic, and roughly chop parsley.
Prepare one recipe of your favorite homemade or store-bought pancake mix, but use 1/4 cup less liquid than called for; the zucchini will add a great deal of liquid to the mix. Fold the vegetables into the prepared pancake batter.
Warm a skillet over medium-high heat and brush it gently with olive oil. Use a 1/3 measuring cup to scoop the batter onto the warmed skillet. Cook 3 to 4 minutes, until the outer edges have set, then flip. Cook an additional 2 to 3 minutes and remove from heat.
Sprinkle the pancakes liberally with salt and allow to cool slightly before serving. Serve with butter, sour cream, or even a savory jam or chutney if you have it!
Updated from recipe originally published February 2012.
(Image credits: Kelli Foster)