There's a saying in the hospitable south: "You never have to lock your car doors...unless it's zucchini season".  If there is a gardener within fifty feet of your unlocked vehicle, they will dump roughly one hundred pounds of zucchini on you. Bless their hearts. But what the heck do you do with all that veg? Answer: Baked zucchini cakes. It's a great way to use a ton of zucchini and you'll want to make this more than once! It's hard to believe these zucchini cakes have so few ingredients. Because I used sweet potato as a binder instead of egg, you're getting even more fiber and antioxidants in this flavor packed appetizer. The basil, salt, and pepper are the only spices and they're all that's needed. Why cover up a good thing?

Baked Zucchini Cakes

Ingredients:

Yield varies based on size of cake

  • 2 medium zucchini
  • 1 small sweet potato,microwaved and mashed
  • panko
  • 2 t dried basil
  • 1/2 T salt
  • black pepper
  • olive oil or cooking spray for pan

Directions: Grate zucchini into a large colander in the sink to allow for drainage. Add a 1/2 tablespoon of salt to the grated zucchini and stir. Allow to drain for twenty minutes (the salt will draw out moisture). Squeeze excess liquid out of the grated zucchini and place in a large mixing bowl. You must drain the zucchini or you will get soggy cakes!

Microwave a sweet potato until soft. Scrape out sweet potato innards into the mixing bowl, mashing into the zucchini. Add black pepper, and dried basil to mixture. Add enough panko to make a cohesive veggie ball in your hand.

Preheat the oven to 325 F. Spray a pan with cooking spray and add zucchini cakes, mashing with a spatula to flatten. Remember, the thinner the cake, the faster they cook. Bake for about 15 minutes (depending on the thickness). When the cakes start to brown, turn them over and continue cooking. You're looking for crisp tops and golden brown cakes. 

We enjoyed our cakes with a tomato 'relish' filled with basil, garlic, oregano and a vinegrette. But why bother with that? They are delicious on their own which is why the photo you see at the top...is me holding the only two left before we remembered to shoot. Oops.

-Carlene

Dietitian Nutritionist. My husband Chris and I create food and beverage photos, videos, stopmotions and recipes. And they're really cool.