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Zucchini Latkes > Zatkes!

by Jane Worthington-Roth

We always seem to have an abundance of zucchini, without doubt the easiest vegetable to grow in the Berkshires! I try to vary my recipes so the zucchini doesn't get boring if served frequently throughout the summer. One of my favorite zucchini recipes is so delicious that you will be tempted to serve it a couple times a week - guaranteed!

I figured that since the recent vegetable-noodle craze calls zucchini noodles "zoodles" - these zucchini-based latkes must forever be known as "zatkes"!

2 medium zucchini
1 baking (russet) potato, peeled
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 Vidalia (sweet onion), sliced very thin
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons fresh spearmint, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt, extra for serving
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup safflower oil (may substitute corn or vegetable oil), more if necessary
2 scallions, sliced
Sour cream, for serving

Trim the ends off the zucchini. Grate the zucchini and potato using a food processor or box grater. Place the zucchini, potato and onion into a colander set over a bowl. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt, toss well to combine, and let sit over the bowl until the vegetables release most of their water - at least 30 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine the eggs, cumin, mint, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper.

Place the zucchini mixture in a clean kitchen towel and twist the towel to squeeze out as much additional liquid as you can. The drier the vegetables the crispier the result!

Add the zucchini mixture into the bowl with the eggs and stir to combine. Sprinkle the flour and baking powder on top and gently combine. I find that using a fork to disperse the flour and baking soda throughout the mixture works the best.

Heat the oil in a heavy pan over medium heat - cast iron works the best. Carefully drop tablespoons of the zucchini mixture into the oil and flatten each with a wooden spoon. Cook for about 3 minutes on each side until golden brown.

Carefully remove from the oil and place on a paper-towel lined plate. Immediately sprinkle with salt. Place some foil over the plate to keep the zatke warm while you finish making the rest.

To serve, sprinkle the scallions on top and serve with sour cream.

Although you could substitute parsley for the mint, the combination of ground cumin and fresh mint adds just a hint of perfectly delicate exotic flavor.