These fritter-like Zucchini Pancakes are a delightful way to use up zucchini. Credit: Sandy Oliver

Who doesn’t need a new way to fix zucchini this time of year? They are in perfection right now. If you grow them, catch them at a medium size, say, the size of a banana, before they become giants. So far we have had them in soup, sauteed, roasted, and grilled and topped with salsa. Still, what more could I do them? Fortunately, along came Nina and Jim Scott from Friendship for a visit here, and she told me about the fritter-like zucchini pancakes she makes.

“You can make them as a side dish for supper,” she told me, “Or you can make them small and serve them as appetizers.” She pointed out that they were good hot or cold. That means you can make them ahead if you need to. Really, what more can you ask?

“Use olive oil and butter in the pan. Butter is essential,” she said. You need enough fat that you can see lots of bubbling all around the fritter edges, but you do not need to deep fry them. Make sure that as the fritters absorb fat, you add a little more oil and butter for the next round of frying. Drain them on a paper towel. Keep them hot or not, as you wish.

When I tried this recipe, we each had three 2- to 3-inch cakes with salsa on top, and it made a delicious supper just like that. I like Nina’s recipe better than the way I had been making them when I merely grated the zukes and added eggs enough to hold them together with only a little flour. Nina’s recipe produces a moist interior along with the crunchy exterior. Maybe the secret ingredient is the Parmesan.

You could add extras such as a bit of garlic, onion, scallions, chili powder, basil or oregano. We like the salsa we put on top because we made it fresh, but any salsa you like works, as would chile sauce, sriracha or any favorite condiment. Even an aioli, sour cream or ranch dressing works.

What a lovely way to eat more zucchini. Go ahead and pick some from your garden to make this scrumptious dish.

Zucchini Pancakes

Makes 20 2-inch pancakes

2 medium small zucchini, grated

¾ cup flour

½ teaspoon baking powder

3 eggs

½ cup Parmesan cheese

Salt and pepper to taste

Optional herbs

Optional garlic, onions or scallions to taste

Olive oil


1. Put all ingredients together in a bowl, and stir to combine thoroughly.

2. Heat oil and butter together in a pan over a medium high heat.

3. Drop spoonfuls of batter onto the hot pan — the size dollop you prefer. Cook until they are golden brown and crisp, about three minutes. Flip over and cook on the other side for another three minutes or less.

4. Drain on a paper towel, and serve hot or cold.

Sandy Oliver Sandy is a freelance food writer with the column Taste Buds appearing weekly since 2006 in the Bangor Daily News, and regular columns in Maine Boats, Homes, and Harbors magazine and The Working...