Cast-Iron Solutions for Zucchini Overload

In their updated Cast Iron Skillet Cookbook, Seattle-based authors Sharon Kramis and Julie Kramis Hearne solve the annual gardener's dilemma with summer squash pancakes.

By Allison Jones September 4, 2013 Published in the September 2013 issue of Portland Monthly

As summer winds down, front-yard raised beds, community gardens, and farmers markets are overflowing with summer squash of all stripes. From cute-as-a-button pale yellow pattypans to standard dark green zucchini, the prolific plants are depositing the fruits of their over-achieving photosynthesis on crowded kitchen counters around the country.

In the new edition of their classic book Cast Iron Skillet Cookbook: Recipes for the Best Pan in Your Kitchen (out October 29 from Sasquatch Books), mother-and-daughter team Sharon Kramis and Julie Kramis Hearne offer several one-pan recipes to make the most of that late-summer zucchini bounty—in addition to updated classics from brown sugar blueberry coffee cake to rosemary-crusted rack of lamb.

Our favorite garden-bounty boom solution from the Seattle-based authors and cooks? This savory zucchini pancake recipe with a creamy, wine-spiked sauce that's sure to cure your September squash fatigue. (And take heart—the zucchini attack means sweet, nutty winter squash is just around the corner...)

Elsie’s Zucchini Pancakes with Sour Cream Sauce

©2013 by Sharon Kramis & Julie Kramis Hearne. Reprinted from Cast Iron Skillet Cookbook: Recipes for the Best Pan in Your Kitchen with permission from Sasquatch Books. 

Makes 6 Servings

Sour Cream Sauce

  • 3⁄4 cup sour cream
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped green onion, both green and white parts
  • 1⁄4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

Zucchini Pancakes

  • 3 cups grated zucchini (about 4 medium-sized zucchini)
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp freshly grated
  • Parmesan cheese
  • 1⁄4 cup finely chopped green onion, white and green parts (about 3 onions)
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp canola oil, plus more as needed
  • Finely chopped chives, for garnish 

To prepare the sauce, mix together the sour cream, green onion, wine, and lemon juice in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat just until warm. Reduce the heat to low while you prepare the pancakes. 

Preheat the oven to 250°F, and place a platter in the oven to warm.

To prepare the pancakes, place the grated zucchini between two layers of paper towels and press lightly to remove some of the moisture. Transfer to a large bowl. Add the flour and mix to coat. Add the Parmesan cheese, green onions, eggs, and lemon juice and mix well.

Heat 1 tablespoon canola oil in a 10- or 12-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat. Drop 1⁄3 cup of the pancake batter into the skillet for each pancake and cook, turning once, until golden brown on both sides, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to the warm platter in the oven and repeat until you have used all the batter, adding more oil to the skillet as needed.

To serve, pour a little of the warm sauce over the pancakes and garnish with chopped chives.
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