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Parmesan Zucchini Cakes

It is officially the start of the fall season which means pumpkins, apple cider, crunching leaves, lots of delicious pie and autumn harvest time! What is an autumn harvest you ask? Well let me tell you! Autumn harvest is when the fruits and veggies we eat throughout the year are harvested… (at least the majority of them!)

Foods particularly associated with the season include pumpkins (which are integral parts of both Thanksgiving and Halloween), and apples, which are used to make the seasonal autumn beverage apple cider and apple pies.

This also means there is no better time of year to pay a visit to your local open-air Farmers Market! I remember going to the San Luis Obispo, CA (SLO) farmers market that took place every Thursday. I would attend such an event when I was a kid on vacation with my parents and sis.

I loved seeing everyone outside eating corn on the cob, and walking around aimlessly looking at the amazing produce that had been growing all season. These are very special memories for me, and this time of year will always hold a special place in my heart…

Check out the edible gems I was able to find at my farmer’s market last week!


Seeing all these veggies inspired me to make a dish that would let a healthy and vibrant vegetable take center stage. I couldn’t think of a yummier or simpler item to make other than my Italian Parmesan Zucchini Cakes dipped in a rich tomato marinara sauce!

~Parmesan Zucchini Cakes ~

Makes about 8-10 cakes

Ingredients:

  • 4 zucchini
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced very small (I usually use a red onion, but you can use a brown or white.)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic or 2 small cloves.
  • 1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup marinara sauce for dipping (Your favorite kind!)

Directions

1. Wash and grate all 4 zucchini.

2. Place the zucchini strands in a clean kitchen towel, and squeeze well to remove the excess water. (This is a very important step, so don’t skip it! If you don’t do this, the cakes won’t form and you will be left with zucchini mush in your pan!)

3. In a large bowl combine the zucchini, onion, parmesan cheese, eggs and garlic and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Mix well to thoroughly combine.

4. Heat the olive oil in a medium to large-sized skillet over medium heat.

5. Using a 1/4 cup measure drop about 6 to 8 portions of the zucchini mixture into the skillet. Fry on both sides until golden brown and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side.

6. Once browned, remove from the skillet and drain on a paper lined sheet pan or plate.

7. Warm a small bowl of your marinara sauce.

8. Arrange the zucchini cakes on a serving platter and serve with the sauce.

Bon Appétit mi amours! 

Why I love this recipe:

These zucchini cakes are oh so versatile! They are great as an ‘appretivo’ before dinner, or as a side item to any meal. Sometimes when serving pasta, I tend to shy away from serving bread before the meal because all the carbs can make me feel like I have a ball of dough sitting in my stomach. These little numbers make for a nice alternative!

Also, did you notice that there is absolutely NO flour needed?! Why hello gluten-free friends! Yes you may eat this!

P.S. Do you like my pictures? They are my favorite part of this blog post. I felt so artsy walking around a farmers market, attempting to take half-way decent pictures of vegetables! 🙂


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