I’m cheating a little bit – this isn’t exactly a new recipe. It is a long needed remake of my sweet potato and zucchini latkes, which were delicious but never held together as much as I wanted. Reworking this recipe over and over in quarantine had me asking the question, “at what point does a latke become a pancake?” Existential crisis alert. Anyway, a few variations later I’ve rechristened them as pancakes and they are as delicious as before (if not better). So if you are in need of brunch inspiration, look no further. This has become one of my go to choices- mostly savory, a tiny bit sweet, and ready to be eaten “as is” or with practically any topping you have in your fridge or cupboard.
SWEET POTATO AND ZUCCHINI PANCAKES WITH SMOKED SALMON AND CRÈME FRAÎCHE
makes 8 to 9 four-inch pancakes
1.5 cups zucchini, largely grated* (approximately 1 large zucchini)
2 cups orange sweet potato, like jewel or garnet, peeled and grated (roughy 1-1.5 pounds sweet potato)
1 cup flour (I used all-purpose, though nearly any flour would work, i.e. 1 cup GF flour)
1/4 cup shallot, diced finely, almost minced
3 beaten eggs
3oz parmesan cheese, grated
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
3-6 tablespoons salted butter for the pan
toppings: smoked salmon and crème fraîche**
In a medium mixing bowl, stir all the ingredients together except for the butter and toppings. The batter will probably feel thick, which is fine.
Heat a large pan (I used cast iron) over medium heat. When the pan is hot, add 1-2 tablespoons butter. Melt the butter and swirl around in the pan until evenly dispersed. Add a heaping 1/4 cup scoop of batter, and flatten the dollop of batter with the flat side of the scoop (if you don’t flatten the pancakes a little they won’t cook all the way through). Leave a couple inches between pancakes and repeat this until you run out of space in your pan. I was able to cook 3 pancakes per batch. Let the pancakes cook for several min per side until dark brown but not burned.
Enjoy hot with smoked salmon and crème fraîche, or any other topping you prefer. These keep well in the fridge for a couple days, and to reheat I recommend toasting in a toaster oven. I expect they would freeze well, too, though we always eat them before I get a chance to try.
*If you grate the zucchini too finely, it will release a lot of liquid, which will alter the batter. Use the largest grater you have.
**other topping ideas: your favorite jam, a fried egg, sausage, fried chicken and syrup (not kidding here, it’s delicious), peanut butter or any nut butter, avocado, or banana