Guestspeaker Alice Waters and Potato Zucchini Pancakes

by Kirsten on September 7, 2012 · 16 comments

in Main Dishes, Misc. Savory Dishes, Starters, Starters & Sides

You are probably asking yourself what Alice Waters  and my featured recipe for potato zucchini pancakes have in common, correct? Well, that is very easy since they both represent local, organic, sustainable and in season.

Alice Waters spoke at the annual fundraiser for the CU Center for Women’s Health Research luncheon this week here in Denver and I was very fortunate to be invited through my foodie friend Michele (@Cooking with Michele). It was interesting to listen to Alice’s personal story in how she became mother of American food and the advocate for edible school yards. Her influence can be seen in Denver and many other cities  through the slow food movement. Slow food Denver’s seed to table project helps, amongst other wonderful activities, to transfer unused parts of a school’s property into working gardens which teaches students where their food comes from, how to grow, prepare and share it. I personally think that this project is a wonderful hand on example in how to educate our children on making better food choices which is the right step towards a healthier and happier life.

If you ask my children they will tell you that I probably talk way to much about the importance of the source of our meals, since I try to buy local, organic, follow the advice of my sea food guide and won’t eat mass produced meat (not even at a restaurant or a friend’s house).  I will spare you with my rand, but would like to share that most ingredients for today’s recipe, potato zucchini pancakes, were purchased at my local farmers market (at Rickie’s stand). Zucchinis are still plenty to harvest and it feels to me that you can never have enough zucchini recipes on hand.

It was actually my daughter’s wish to try this recipe which she found in her very favorite cookbook Joy the Baker by Joy Wilson. By now we have made Joy’s potato zucchini pancakes at least three times. They always come out crispy and with a light and airy texture. They are put together in a wink and taste terrific accompanied with wild caught smoked salmon, herb cream cheese, and our newest discovery, spicy sweet chili sauce. These potato zucchini pancakes make for a simple, but delectable meatless dinner or, baked into smaller pancakes, for tasty little appetizers to serve for your next get together with friends.

Potato Zucchini Pancakes
5.0 from 5 reviews
Recipe type: Main, Appetizer
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 3
  • 2 cups peeled and grated potatoes
  • 2 cups of grated zucchini
  • ¼ cup onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ⅓ cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon of salt, divided
  • Oil for the pan
  1. Mix zucchini, potatoes and ½ teaspoon salt. Place in a colander for about 10 minutes. Squeeze out extra water with a paper towel.
  2. In the meantime cook onions with some oil in a pan until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for one more minute. Set aside.
  3. Whisk the eggs in a bowl. Mix in flour, baking powder and ½ teaspoon salt. Add zucchini and onion mixtures and stir until well combined.
  4. Heat some oil in a bigger pan (medium-high heat) and drop the batter in portions. I use a ¼ cup to measure out the pancakes. Flatten the pancakes with a fork.
  5. Fry until crispy on both sides, flipping them when edges turn brown. This depends on how high you have set the heat. Higher heat works better to avoid soggy and sad looking pancakes!
  6. Serve immediately.
Pancakes can be kept warm on a heat proved platter in the oven at 200 F.

Adapted from my copy of the book  Joy the Baker.

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Kim April 15, 2013 at 11:32 am

Absolutely my favorite dish right now! Plan to feature it on my blog very soon. I made mine gluten-free by using rice flower as well 🙂
Thanks for sharing this amazingly delicious dish!

Carroll February 27, 2013 at 1:50 pm

These were delicious! I made them gluten-free by using 1/3 brown rice flower instead of wheat flour, and 1/2 teaspoon of xantham gum instead of baking powder. They came out looking just like the ones in the pictures!

Greg September 12, 2012 at 11:39 am

I guess it’s a good thing we are not friends because at my table you would suffer. I doubt I would be able to share with you the original source of the meats that I would use to prepare a dinner for my friends and I know of few people that would. While I don’t begrudge you the ability to buy organic and local; you are out of touch to think that habit is economically feasible for many others.

Kirsten September 12, 2012 at 12:44 pm

@Greg: I am very sorry to have upset you. That was not my intention. I understand that a lot of people, like you, think they aren’t able to find humanly raised meat to affordable prices. That’s what I thought several years ago, when I fully understood how the mass meat industry treats the animals, what the consumer receives and how the environment is effected by all of this. I started looking for alternative meat sources and found them. So will anybody else willing to do so. My local Vitamin Cottage, Whole Foods and lot’s of local farmers make for great sources. I disagree that you have to spend more money. The half side of beef I purchased at the end of last summer from a local farmer came to $4 per pound (that included all the different cuts I was able to choose). Store bought I like to go for the quality and not the quantity. I really hope that more consumers get informed, vote with their wallet (which doesn’t mean spending more!) and try to make a difference for the better. My very best wishes. Kirsten

Adrian (What the Heck is Filipino Food) September 11, 2012 at 8:59 pm

I just had these for breakfast! But I tell you what, these look much much better!

Michelle/Mickle in NZ September 10, 2012 at 4:23 am

Mmmm, I never thought of including potato in my zucchini cakes.

(If you have a potato ricer then use it to squeeze the excess liquid from the grated raw potato and zucchini – you’ll be amazed at how much liquid comes out)

Kirsten September 12, 2012 at 1:07 pm

Great tip, Thanks!

Larry September 8, 2012 at 8:51 am

The cakes look totally delicious, especially with the extra crispy edges.

Toni @ Boulder Locavore September 8, 2012 at 7:02 am

Very fun Kirsten! Isn’t Alice Waters inspirational? Knowing your food appreciation I’m sure this was a great outing and love the pancakes too!

Karen Harris September 8, 2012 at 6:30 am

It sounds like a great experience. Your pancakes look delicious.

Lea Ann (Cooking on the Ranch) September 8, 2012 at 5:46 am

What a great opportunity to see Alice Waters Kirsten. Love that photo of the two of you. And I’ve been with you when we couldn’t eat at a certain restaurant due to the uncertainty of their meet purchases! I’ve got a counter full of zucchini so will have to give this recipe a try. Thanks for the post.

Sue/the view from great island September 7, 2012 at 9:58 pm

I would love to meet Alice Waters, she’s one of my heros! These zucchini pancakes look delicious!

Dominic September 7, 2012 at 5:54 pm

These look so heavenly. I’ve made something similar recently with potato and carrot but they came out more cake-like. Your pancakes really do look wonderful.

Susan September 7, 2012 at 11:53 am

These are on the dinner menu for tonight! I’ve made lots of potato pancakes and zucchini pancakes, but never thought to do them together. What a perfect appetizer, side dish, or heck, I could make a whole meal on them:-D How lucky to meet Alice Waters–she’s on my “Bucket List” of good food authorities! XOXO

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