I think I’m there. I’ve reached the pinnacle. I have found the ultimate perfect zucchini recipe. Maybe. I could eat these delicious little cakes all day long. For the first time ever I’m wanting there to be even more zucchini in my garden. This recipe comes from a book that my friend Disa gave me (wife of famous brew meister Neils Thomson of Wintercoat brewery fame). Disa and Niels live in Denmark (Disa and I met on the first day of Kindergarten so we have significant history). She comes to visit her folks – making me the unintended beneficiary of the visit. She always brings me some Danish goodies when she comes. Almost always food related because she and I love to cook together. She has brought me chocolate, marzipan, blue cheese, blue cheese, blue cheese, beautiful bowls, a salt bowl, potholders made by her mother-in-law, to name a few items, and once – a cookbook – not Danish.
The book is called “The Complete Italian Vegetarian Cookbook” by Jack Bishop with photos by Ann Stratton. I have cooked extensively from this book and all of the recipes are really excellent. Last night, after finding another couple of pounds of zucchini in the garden I started pouring through cookbooks again and I came across this recipe. It was perfect. I had good ricotta leftover from my Aunt Roberta’s visit; scores of zucchini, a lemon from the garden, and some breadcrumbs that I made from bread that got a little too hard.
Off I went on another cooking adventure.
Zucchini and Ricotta Cakes with Lemon
(from The Complete Italian Vegetarian Cookbook by Jack Bishop) Preheat oven to 200° to keep finished cakes warm
½ cup homestyle ricotta cheese
2 large eggs lightly beaten
2 Tbsp minced fresh parsley leaves
1 medium clove of garlic minced
½ tsp grated lemon zest
1 ¼ pounds zucchini with ends trimmed
Salt and pepper
1 ¾ cups plain bread crumbs Vegetable oil for frying Lemon wedges for serving
In a bowl combine the ricotta, eggs, parsley, garlic and lemon zest.
Shred the zucchini with a grater or food processor. Wrap the zucchini in paper towels to get the moisture out.
Add the zucchini to the ricotta mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir well.
Add about 1 cup of bread crumbs so that the mixture is no longer sticky.
Put the remaining bread crumbs on a large plate.
Heat ½ inch oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
Take about 1/3 cup of the zucchini mixture and shape into a 3-inch patty. Coat both sides with the bread crumbs. Put the patty on a platter and repeat until all of the zucchini batter is used up. Maybe about 15 patties.
When the oil is hot (test by dipping the edge of a patty into the pan and when it sizzles the oil is hot enough) add as many zucchini cakes as will fit comfortably into the pan. Fry until the bottoms of the patties are a rich golden brown – about 4 minutes. Carefully turn the patties and continue to fry until the second side is a rich golden brown. Remove the cooked patties to a pan and keep warm in a 200° oven.
When all the patties are cooked, place on a platter with a sprig of parsley or dill and the lemon wedges.