Zucchini latkes are fried pancakes that are typically made with shredded zucchini, eggs and flour. In a nod to the more traditional latke, some recipes also include shredded potatoes. Zucchini latkes can be served with a number of condiments, including sour cream, applesauce and red pepper jelly. These latkes are a popular holiday food for some but can be enjoyed anytime.
This type of squash is readily available during the summer months. It is a firm vegetable that grates easily. When using zucchini to make latkes, the grated product is wrapped in a clean dishcloth or paper towel to remove any excess moisture. Failing to reduce the moisture prior to adding the zucchini to the other ingredients can lead to a latke batter that is too watery, resulting in an unappealing, sticky center in the finished product.
Although many cooks focus on zucchini in their zucchini latkes, some recipes call for an equal amount of grated potato. This style of latke is similar to the potato latke traditionally served during Jewish holidays. After the vegetables are grated, they are blended with breadcrumbs or flour, eggs and seasonings, including grated onion. Marjoram, hot sauce and lemon juice also can be added.
The finished batter is scooped up with a spoon and dropped into hot oil. Zucchini latkes can be flattened to look like a pancake or left in a rounded shape. They cook rather quickly, frying for only two or three minutes on each side, and are finished when they are golden brown. After they are removed from the pan, they are placed on paper towels to remove any excess oil.
As a fried food, zucchini latkes typically are eaten as soon as they have cooled sufficiently after frying. They do store well, however, and can be made ahead of time. Reheating the vegetable pancakes is a simple matter of placing them on a baking sheet and warming them in an oven until heated through. This method can be particularly useful when serving a crowd.
Zucchini latkes can be served with any of a number of different toppings. Sweet red onion slices and fish roe make an attractive, spicy garnish. One also can add slices of smoked fish, such as salmon, trout or whitefish, and a spoonful of sour cream and capers.
There are a number of other ways to prepare zucchini. They can be cut lengthwise into sticks that are dipped in batter and fried. Thin slices of zucchini also can be sauteed in olive oil and garlic. This side dish can become an entree by adding sliced mushrooms and fresh shrimp. Zucchini can be stuffed with meats and cheese and baked; it also can be made into breads and cakes.