Friday, October 2, 2009

Zucchini Cakes with Spicy Apricot Dipping Sauce

When Andrew and I first moved in together, we cooked all the time. I used to tease him that everything he made started with the same three ingredients: onions, garlic, and olive oil, and finished with a circus of odd condiments. He put chillies into EVERYTHING, which often added a little something to the dish, but sometimes, well...who really wants chili pepper in their pancakes? He was also a big fan of trying out those random ingredients you normally only buy when a recipe calls for it. You know, things like walnut oil, coconut milk, sardines, pickled gherkins, to name a few. He'd come home from the grocery store with a couple vegetables, a few chicken breasts, and a bag of condiments. I would think to myself, "when are we ever going to use horseradish mustard and Thai fish sauce"? But to his credit, he would try and eat everything he bought, and we had some of the most interesting food I've ever tasted. Luckily, it was about a 2:1 ratio. For every peanut butter and tomato sandwich he made, there were two really tasty marinades or main dishes. He taught me a lot about cooking without realizing it. He was (and still is) creative, fun, and approaches cooking with reckless abandonment. I love it! So now, whenever I decide to add an unusual spice, or trust my gut that an additional ingredient will really make the dish, I get a little nostalgic for those 'everything in the cupboard quesadillas'!

The zucchini cakes are a longtime favorite of mine that I had forgotten about until a friend suggested it after I mentioned pulling five zucchinis out of the garden. But the sauce, now that is a tribute to Andrew... and his love of condiments. Enjoy!

Serves 4 (as an appetizer)

For the Zucchini Cakes:

4 Cups shredded zucchini
1 teaspoon salt, divided
2 large eggs lightly beaten
1/3 Cup whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
1/2 teaspoon paprika
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

For the dipping sauce:

1/2 Cup apricot jam
2 Tablespoons water
1/2 Tablespoon English mustard
1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon chili paste
pinch or two of salt to taste

Put zucchini in a colander with 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Drain for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk together ingredients for dipping sauce and set aside. After 10 minutes, press out the water from zucchini with a paper towel. Whisk eggs and remaining salt. Add flour, baking powder, garlic, feta, paprika, and zucchini. Mix well. Spread olive oil in a frying pan and pour batter in to make 2 inch round cakes. Flip when bottom gets nicely browned and cakes have become slightly firm. Serve immediately with dipping sauce.

1 comment:

Whitney said...

These look so good, Suzanne! I'm going to have to try to make them.


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