Zucchini and yellow squash are overflowing from local farms around here this time of year. If you read my last post, you know I bought a bunch of fresh produce during my most recent trip to the farm stand. Amongst that fresh produce, were a couple of zucchini and yellow squash. I’ve been cooking with zucchini all summer long. I’ve grated it and put it in pasta with mushrooms and parmesan cheese. I’ve chopped it up into bite size pieces and stir fried it with some corn (recipe to come). I’ve sliced it lengthwise, grilled it and drizzled it with soy sauce. There’s a lot you can do with zucchini. My mom sautees it with garlic and a can of diced tomatoes and it comes out delicious. But, out of all the ways to cook and prepare zucchini, zucchini cakes might be my favorite.
I’ve made zucchini cakes before and they’ve always been tasty but these zucchini cakes, in particular, are something special and that’s because they have a secret ingredient. It was actually an accident. I grated the zucchini, wrapped it up in a dish towel and squeezed out as much water as I could. I threw the zucchini, along with some breadcrumbs and an egg and parmesan cheese in a bowl, but the mixture just wasn’t coming together properly. I looked in my fridge and didn’t really have any proper “binders” for the zucchini cakes but then I saw the cream cheese, and I thought, “why not?” I let the cream cheese soften for a bit until it got to room temperature, then I cubed about 2 oz. of it and threw it in to the bowl and mixed until everything was nicely combined and I was able to form patties or “cakes” out of the mixture. The cream cheese worked as the perfect binder and it also gave the zucchini cakes a tangy bite, which was nice. I could have easily eaten them all in one sitting.
This recipe makes about eight 3-inch zucchini cakes
Zucchini cakes with cream cheese:
2 zucchini’s, grated (about two cups)
1⁄2 cup breadcrumbs
1⁄4 cup of parmesan cheese
2 ounces softened cream cheese, cubed
1 clove of garlic, grated
1⁄2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1⁄2 cup olive oil
1. Put the grated zucchini in a clean kitchen towel. Wrap the zucchini in the
towel so it forms a bundle and squeeze out the water. 5 or 6 squeezes should
do it. You want to squeeze out most of the water.
2. After squeezing out the water, place the zucchini in a bowl. Add the
breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, egg, cream cheese, garlic and red pepper
flakes and mix until everything is well combined.
3. Heat the olive oil in a non-stick skillet over medium heat.
4. Once the oil is hot, form 3 inch zucchini cakes and gently place them into the hot oil.
Do 3 to 4 cakes at one time. Let them brown for 3 minutes on one side, and
then flip them over and brown 3 minutes on the other side. Once they are
golden brown on both sides, remove the cakes to a plate lined with a paper
towel. While the cakes are hot, sprinkle with salt.
5. Repeat step four until all the cakes are done. This recipe should make about 8
Another meatless meal success.