Zucchini Latkes & Polenta with Pesto

Last night I invited my mom over for dinner, and put together a hearty meal to stave off the bitter cold.  It was kind of a “hodge podge” as they say, but sometimes I think that’s the best way to make a meal.

First I made the polenta – polenta is easy enough to make, though its like risotto in that you have to kind of stir it a lot to get the right texture, so you can’t just set it and walk away.  I made mine pretty plain, just corn grits and water, then stirred in a pat of butter and some grated parmesan and black pepper right at the end.  After the polenta was cooked, I spooned it onto a baking sheet and baked it at 400F for 15 minutes to give it a kind of crispy texture on the outside.

Then I got to working on the zucchini latkes.

My recipe for zucchini latkes is very similar to my recipe for Potato latkes.  If you are interested in making your own latkes, the point I’d like to stress to the reader is that you can season them however you like, I keep mine pretty simple but I’ve had latkes that were heavily spiced or herbed, and those were quite good as well.  The other key item is that you don’t want a latke to be like a pancake.  When they go into the pan, try to keep the latkes loose.

Zucchini Latkes (serves 2-4 people)

  • 2 Zucchini, shredded coarsely, and then pressed to get out as much water as possible
  • 1 Tbsp onion powder
  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp sweet paprika
  • 1 egg
  1. Heat peanut or canola oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat
  2. Mix ingredients together, making sure to mix the egg throughout the batter
  3. Spoon into pan, using spatula to spread out loosely
  4. Fry 2-3 minutes on each side, until brown and crisp
  5. Serve hot

All that was left to bring it together after that was the arugula pesto.  Again, I kept it simple.

Arugula Pesto

  • A big handful of arugula
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • A small handful of walnuts
  • salt
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  1. Mix all ingredients together in a food processor until smooth
  2. Adjust olive oil to your preference (use less for thicker pesto, more for saucier pesto)

Finally, I put it all together and we dug in.  It was a quite filling meal, if not the most healthy thing I’ve ever eaten.

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1 Response to “Zucchini Latkes & Polenta with Pesto”


  1. 1 Sarina January 12, 2010 at 5:54 pm

    What a beautiful dish! I haven’t tried either of your latke recipes yet, but I will be saving them for a toasty weekend at home. Thanks for sharing.


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