There’s a Southern saying about a universally disliked woman: “She’s so awful she has to buy zucchini.” If you grew up around people with gardens, you’ll know what I mean. During the summer season, you can’t keep people from pushing them on you, in bags and bushels. Here in Colorado weed is the new zucchini. Rarely will you leave a party without someone urging even non-smokers to “take a bag for friends.”
Only the shamefully friendless pay for zucchini. I have friends, but they’re, sadly, mostly of the urban non-garden-growing variety. These delicious little mock crab cakes are worth the shame and the trip to the store. And to quote Annelle, they freeze BEE-YOO-TIFULLY.
I like to shape these into slider-sized cakes and serve with dolled-up, dilled-up Duke’s Mayonnaise or remoulade on top of baby greens, or as sandwiches on small soft rolls. They’re also excellent cocktail snacks. Enjoy!
Annelle’s Zucchini “Crab” Cakes
makes 12 small cakes
2-3 cups shredded zucchini
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup finely diced or grated onion
2-3 cloves minced garlic
1/4 cup finely chopped chives
2 tablespoons Old Bay Seasoning
Freshly ground pepper
(if your Old Bay is OLD, check out my recipe here)
1 cup panko, plain or gluten-free bread crumbs (Sourdough adds a nice tang. Very low-carbers may want to substitute crushed pork rinds, but this will change the flavor profile.)
Flour, rice flour, corn starch or additional panko for dredging
Oil for frying
Grate the unpeeled zucchini using a food processor or box grater. Lightly salt and drain in a cheesecloth- or tea towel-lined colander for half an hour, squeezing often. The more water you remove from the zucchini, the better that patties will hold together. (I’ve also used my potato ricer, which really extracts the moisture!) Add all remaining ingredients except flour and mix thoroughly. Form into small patties and dredge lightly in flour. Refrigerate the patties on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet for half an hour. (You can omit this step, but it helps them hold together and gives a crispier crunch.)
Heat a bit of oil in a regular or nonstick skillet over medium heat. Carefully add patties, working in batches not to overcrowd. Fry for a few minutes on each side until brown, turning with care. Drain on paper towels. If you can bring yourself to turn on the oven, these can also be baked on a lightly oiled sheet at 400 for about 25 minutes, flipping halfway through. Serve immediately, or freeze on a baking sheet until solid, then store in sealed bag for up to two months. Reheat in 350 degree oven or zap in microwave for just about a minute. Snarf.
Add 1 can of flaked crab meat to the zucchini mixture.
Replace some of the zucchini with grated carrot or potato.
Decide to melt butter on stove. Spill butter. Curse. Consider buying a microwave.