Zucchini Pancakes with Tzatziki Sauce
Looking for different ways to utilize all those wonderful garden cucumbers and zucchinis this summer? The chefs at The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) have a delicious suggestion: crispy zucchini pancakes with a yogurt and cucumber sauce that the Greeks refer to as tzatziki sauce. Throughout the Eastern Mediterranean, tzatziki is considered both as a salad as well as a sauce.
Cucumbers are one of the oldest cultivated vegetables and are believed to have been native to India. Extremely popular in Europe during the late 1400s, the vegetable was brought over to the New World by Columbus. Available in many varieties—ranging from pickling and slicing cucumbers to those that are yellow in color—the cucumber has a refreshing texture and taste that makes it well-suited to warm summer weather.
According to the Oxford Companion to Food, Zucchini is the Italian and American name for what the French and many English-speaking people call courgettes d'Italie, a variety of Cucurbita squash that is developed to harvest when relatively small, around 3 to 4 inches. The name zucchini stuck because the Italians were the first to market the vegetable in the small size. First introduced to the U.S. by Italian immigrants, the vegetable gained popularity and can be found today in many of our gardens and dishes.
"The pancakes below feature feta cheese and chopped walnuts to punctuate the relatively mild taste of the zucchini in these crispy fritters," says CIA Chef Lynne Gigliotti. "The yogurt-and-cucumber sauce adds richness to the pancakes, cools the heat from fiery curries, and can also be served on its own as a salad. And for all of you who have had enough pickles and zucchini bread for the year, this dish is a great way to try something new. -- CIA Culinary Intelligence
This recipe is explained and illustrated in The Culinary Institute of America Cookbook: A Collection of Our Favorite Recipes for the Home Chef, which is available for purchase at bookstores nationwide or online.