Gozleme or Turkish Zucchini Cakes. At least, according to Bert Greene. And Bert has never steered me wrong before. If you’re not familiar with Bert Greene, there’s no better time to get acquainted. The late Bert Greene was a much admired cookbook author and food columnist. Each of his books have won an IACP Cookbook Award and are still available, especially my favorite, Greene on Greens. Covering only vegetables, Greene on Greens always has a surprising or inspiring recipe to get you looking at your veggies in a whole new light. With Colorado’s produce season in full swing, I think we’ll be visiting Mr. Greene’s book often. So, back to the gozleme. These really are almost a fritter, but more dense and not deep fried. The flavor is subtle, definitely exotic, and might be just thing to get non-zucchini people eating zucchini.
These are easy to make, fun to eat, and I think you’ll enjoy another take on making zucchini. I know that as summer moves on, we’re all overrun with zucchini and looking for any new way to fix them. I’ve adapted Bert’s recipe in a few ways and bumped up the spice a bit. I serve this with a dipping sauce that I made up of yogurt, cumin, smoked paprika and hot sauce. I like the contrast of warm and cool, in temperature and taste.
1/2 lb. grated zucchini (about 2 cups)
1 tbsp. of finely chopped jalapeno pepper
1 small shallot, minced
1 large clove of garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. curry powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. hot sauce
2 tbsp. of olive oil
1 tsp. of baking powder
2/3 cup of whole wheat flour
3 tbsp. of vegetable oil
Place the zucchini in a colander and sprinkle it with salt. Let it stand about 30 minutes then gently press the zucchini with your hands to remove the excess liquid.
Place the zucchini in a large bowl, add the shallots, garlic, curry, olive oil, salt and hot sauce. Mix well. Stir in the baking powder and 1/2 cup of the flour, adding more until the mixture holds together.
Using floured hands, form the mixture into about 16 small rounds and then flatten them slightly.
Heat the vegetable oil in a 12 inch skillet over medium heat. Add the zucchini cakes and saute until golden on the bottom, about 1 minute. Turn over and saute 30 seconds. Reduce the heat to medium low and continue to cook, turning once, for about 15 minutes. You can serve them hot, but these also taste just as good at room temperature.
No shallot? 2 tbsp. of onion, either white or red, sauteed in a pan for a few minutes until is gets soft and sweet is a great substitute. If you don’t have a large enough skillet to hold them all, heat your oven to 350, and saute them until golden on each side in batches and put them on a baking sheet. Put them in the oven for 20 minutes to finish cooking. I sprinkled mine with salt when I finished cooking them after tasting one, I thought it needed just a bit more.
Adapted from Bert Greene’s Greene on Greens