Monday, October 4, 2010

Zucchini Pancakes with Tomato-Onion Relish

Over the next week or so I am going to post some recipes that have their roots in the recent issue of Food and Drink from the LCBO. (On a side note, does anyone else think it's weird that the government puts out a food magazine so we buy more alcohol?) Food and Drink has finally started to cater (somewhat) to the vegetarian crowd, but has yet to make a significant foray into vegan cuisine (even though we cocktail-sipping veggie hipsters would love it). First up is this veganized zucchini pancake (they call it a fritter, but it's not) with a version of my onion and tomato relish. Vegan Mom and I enjoyed these as an appetizer on date night before launching into onion soup and baguettes.

Tomato-Onion Relish
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 large sweet onion, diced
- 2 tbsp packed brown sugar
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 large tomato, diced
- 1/4 tsp salt
- fresh ground black pepper

1. Heat oil in a saucepan over med to med-hi heat. Add onions and saute for about 5 min, until soft and translucent but not browned. Add brown sugar and vinegar and stir. Bring to bubbling and cook for 3 mins, stirring regularly.
2. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to bubbling over med-hi to high heat. Cook for about 5 mins, stirring regularly. Drain relish in a fine mesh sieve so it is no longer runny. Keep warm.

Zucchini Pancakes
Makes at least 8
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- fresh ground black pepper
- 1/3 cup soy yogurt
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup soy milk (more if needed)
- 2 sage leaves, finely chopped
- 1 1/2 cups finely shredded zucchini (or so--1 small zucchini will do)
- oil for frying
- chopped parsley for garnish.

1. Whisk together dry ingredients in a medium bowl.
2. In a separate bowl, whisk yogurt, vinegar, and soy milk together. Squeeze excess moisture out of the shredded zucchini and add to liquid ingredients with the sage leaf. Mix.
3. Gently mix the wet ingredients into the dry, adding a few splashes of soy milk, if needed until the dry ingredients are just moistened. The batter should be firm (not as runny as pancakes) but not stiff.
4. Heat a think layer of oil in a cast iron skillet over medium to med-lo heat. You want to be able to cook the pancakes for about 3 mins per side so they get golden and crispy but not burnt. Drop a scant 1/4 cup of batter into the oil and flatten slightly. Repeat (you should be able to get 4 pancakes in the pan at one time). Cook about 3 mins, then flip and cook 3 mins.
5. You can keep these warm on a rack in a 300 degree oven for about 30 mins or so if you need to make them ahead for a dinner party. Serve with the relish and garnish with parsley.