Zucchini Corn Cakes with Basil Buttermilk Sauce are a great way to use up an abundance of zucchini and they’re freezer-friendly!
While we were away on vacation, the zucchini plants in our garden went to work!
Finding creative ways to use a zucchini explosion can be challenging. Zucchini bread is one way; however, we try to limit our bread consumption. We love zucchini sliced into planks and grilled or cubed and roasted. I also envision some ratatouille in our future. Here is a variation on another of our favorite ways to use up this seasonal abundance–zucchini cakes.
To change up our zucchini cake routine, I added corn to our usual recipe and created this tangy ranch-style sauce that uses fresh basil, another abundant item we have to create these Zucchini Corn Cakes with Basil Buttermilk Sauce.
Zucchini contains a fair amount of water. For a dish such as this, it’s important to extract as much as possible. A thorough salting helps the process along, followed by either squeezing the water from the cut zucchini with your hands, enclosing it in a clean kitchen towel and twisting it, or, the method I most prefer, squeezing the water out in a potato ricer. After the zucchini has been salted, drained and squeezed, you’ll have significantly less than when you started.
Because there is a fair amount of oil required to cook these cakes, flip them away from you to avoid being splashed by hot oil. Draining the cakes on a wire rack instead of on paper towels will help keep the exterior of the cakes crispy.
Zucchini cakes freeze well. After cooking, cool thoroughly then place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and put in the freezer for about an hour. When they have frozen solid, transfer the cakes to zip-top bags. Freezing them first allows you to easily remove a small amount at a time. They don’t even need to be thawed before reheating. Just pop right into the oven or toaster oven for a quick meal.
Serve the cakes over fresh greens such as baby arugula or spring mix. Add some homegrown sliced tomatoes and you’ve got a wonderful meal with some of the best of summer’s bounty.
These Zucchini Corn Cakes with Basil Buttermilk Sauce are a great way to use up an abundance of zucchini and they're freezer-friendly!
- 2 large zucchini (1 1/2 pounds), ends trimmed
- 2 teaspoons salt, plus more for blanching the corn
- 1 large ear of corn
- 4 scallions, white and light green part only, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- cayenne pepper (optional), to taste
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, plus more if needed
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil, for frying
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 2 large sprigs fresh basil, leaves removed, coarsely chopped (about 1/2 cup loosely packed)
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives or 1 small scallion, white and light green part only, chopped
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Grate the zucchini into a colander using a large-holed grater. Toss zucchini with salt. Place in the sink and let stand 30-45 minutes to drain.
- Meanwhile, bring a small pot of water to a boil. Salt if desired. Add the ear of corn and cook 1-2 minutes. Remove with tongs and run under cold tap water to cool. Scrape kernels into a large bowl. Add the scallions, garlic, black pepper and cayenne pepper if using.
- Squeeze as much water as possible from the zucchini. (You should have 1 1/2 — 2 cups when finished.) Place in the bowl with the corn along with the flour and beaten egg. Mix well. The batter should be sticky and hold together. Add flour if necessary.
- Heat canola oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches of two or three, place about a 1/2-cup of the zucchini mixture into the hot oil, flattening to create a pancake. Cook 3-4 minutes per side or until golden. Drain on a wire rack. Repeat with remaining zucchini mixture.
- Combine ingredients in a food processor or blender. Process until smooth. Serve with cakes.
FREEZER-FRIENDLY Cool thoroughly. Freeze on a baking sheet until solid, then place in plastic bags or other storage container.