Zucchini and Carrot Pancakes with Basil Chive Cream
Simple, tasty and beautiful. These versatile zucchini and carrot pancakes could be a fresh main course, a perfect side dish for finicky vegetable snobs or a toasty little appetizer. First of all, the color draws you in with deep green zucchini and sunny bright carrots. The pancakes are crisp and with an airy taste thanks to the whipped egg whites. After toasting, the flavor of zucchini and carrot is hearty yet bright. To make these gluten-free, I used almond flour which gives a nutty hint of sweetness (you can certainly make them with regular all-purpose flour and I address that in the instructions). The Basil and Chive Cream highlights the pepper-minty flavor of basil and the classic mild onion taste from the chives. Perfectly mixed together in tangy sour cream or Greek yogurt.
I make sure these are on the summer menu every year. The first time I presented these to my family I almost received a standing ovation, they loved them that much! And they wished I’d made a double batch, so keep that in mind.
These whip up with little effort and some of the processing time is “sitting time”, which I love because I can get everything else ready to plate and then cook and serve the pancakes hot out of the pan.
Sautee them until tender crisp if you like, but I prefer them more on the crispy side.
Here is how they look a bit thinner and crisper:
- For Basil Chive Cream
- ¾ cup sour cream or plain Greek yogurt (may use low-fat)
- ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
- Salt to taste
- For Pancakes
- 2 zucchini, grated
- 2 carrots, grated
- 1¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup almond flour*
- ½ teaspoon sugar*
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 egg whites
- olive oil
- *If you only have all-purpose flour, use same amount of flour but increase sugar to 1¼ teaspoon.
- Make Basil Chive Cream
- In a bowl, combine sour cream or plain Greek yogurt, chopped basil, chives and salt (I used about ⅛ teaspoon).
- Store in fridge until ready to serve.
- Make Pancakes
- Shred zucchini and the carrots. Place together in a colander and toss with 1¼ teaspoon of salt.
- Let sit 20 minutes so moisture can release from veggies.
- After 20 minutes, take a handful of the zucchini and carrot mixture and squeeze hard to remove all the liquid.
- Transfer the drained veggies to a large bowl and combine with flour, sugar and pepper.
- Using a stand mixer, beat egg whites into stiff peaks (Tip: Did you know if you get even a tiny bit of egg yolk into your whites, they will never beat stiff enough?).
- Fold beaten egg whites into zucchini and carrot mixture until well combined.
- In a non-stick or cast-iron pan, heat approximately 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat.
- Once oil is shimmery, add about ¼ cup zucchini-carrot mixture and immediately press flat with spatula.
- Cook until golden on each side, approximately 2-3 minutes per side. Cook's note: I personally like them on the darker side for added crispiness, but experiment to your taste.
- Transfer cooked pancakes to paper towel to drain excess oil.
- Serve hot with a dollop of Basil Chive Cream.
Recipe adapted from Three Square Chef.