Thursday, August 4, 2011

Fresh Corn and Zucchini Cakes

Although I could eat fresh corn on the cob with butter and pepper almost every day when it's in season, I do make an effort to find other recipes to appreciate one of my favorite foods in the world, and the second recipe my mind usually drifts to is corn fritters. Fritters and cakes made with a variety of produce is a great way to use some of summer's bounty, including the overabundance of summer squash at this time of year. I loaded up these cakes with corn, zucchini, red onion and a healthy helping of fresh dill for a light and flavorful cake, which I served with broccoli and over easy eggs, dragging the cake through the rich egg yolk for an unexpectedly decadent experience. These cakes are another one of those infinitely customizable dishes; lime juice and cilantro would make great substitutes for the lemon juice and dill, particularly with the addition of some scallions and/or black beans for a Mexican-inspired cake. Leftover cakes are also great even at room temperature and I wrapped mine up in a whole wheat tortilla with some greens and salsa for a fantastic lunch the following day. You can't really go wrong with fresh produce and herbs in the halcyon days of summer produce, so raid your local farmers' market and get creative!

Fresh Corn and Zucchini Cakes
adapted from Whole Foods
serves 4 (makes about 8 cakes)

2 large eggs
1/3 cup low-fat buttermilk or low-fat milk
1/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
3/4 cup fresh corn
1 cup grated zucchini
1/3 cup chopped red onion
1/3 cup chopped fresh dill
Zest of 1 lemon
Canola or olive oil cooking spray

1. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, buttermilk, flour, baking powder, salt and pepper until smooth. Add corn, zucchini, onion, dill and zest and stir until combined.

2. Preheat a large skillet over medium heat and spray with cooking spray. Working in batches, drop batter by 1/4-cup measures into skillet. Cook, turning once, until browned and cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes per side; lower heat if pancakes begin to brown too deeply before middle is cooked through. Spray pan with additional oil between batches if necessary. Serve the pancakes warm or room temperature.

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