In a small town in northwest Connecticut there is an unwritten decree during July: Lock your car doors or find pounds of zucchini mysteriously occupying the front seat. Zucchini is now plentiful so it is the perfect time to enjoy these pancakes for breakfast.
1 medium-large zucchini
2-3 red potatoes
½ small onion, peeled
¼ cup spelt or whole wheat matzo meal
1 small egg, lightly beaten
4-5 oregano leaves
½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Grape seed oil for frying (about 1/4 cup)
1/2 pineapple, sliced, as garnish
A few basil leaves (optional)
Wash and trim the zucchini and potato, leaving skin on.
Coarsely grate the zucchini using a box grater or a food processor.
Coarsely grate the potato and the onion using the same grater.
Be sure to rinse the grater each time you change ingredients.
Transfer the grated zucchini, potato and onion to a colander and squeeze dry. Let stand for 2 minutes, then squeeze again.
Transfer the vegetable mixture to a large bowl.
Chop the oregano and add to the mix.
Add the matzo meal, egg, lemon juice, salt and pepper and stir to combine.
In a medium cast iron or stainless steel skillet, heat 2-4 tablespoons of grape seed oil until simmering but not smoking.
Drop packed teaspoons of the zucchini mixture into the skillet and flatten them with the back of a spoon.
Cook the pancakes over moderately high heat until the edges are golden, about 2 minutes; flip and cook until golden on other side, about 1 minute.
Drain on unbleached brown paper bags.
Repeat with the remaining zucchini mixture, adding more oil to the skillet as needed.
Serve with fresh sliced pineapple and basil (optional).
Note: pineapple is a tropical fruit, so should be eaten sparingly in the northeast. At this time of year, when New England can feel like the Tropics, the juicy, sweet pineapple is a fine complement to these savory pancakes.