Using seasonal courgette (zucchini), this recipe is perfect for either a light lunch, side dish or a starter. Add the grilled prawns and tomatoes for a perfectly summery light lunch, or serve the pancakes alone as a side dish alongside chicken.
Ingredients for four portions
For the pancakes:
1 kg of courgettes (zucchini), diced.
2 tbsps of plain flour
5 tbsps of grated parmesan cheese
3 tbsps of grated pecorino romano
salt and pepper to taste
Vegetable oil for frying
For the sauce:
100 gr of cream cheese
50 gr of soured cream
50gr of mayonnaise
300 gr of tiger prawns, cooked and peeled
6 cherry tomatoes
In a large pan, heat the vegetable oil. The oil has to be hot enough to sizzle when adding food. To check whether it has reached the right tempearture, drop a couple of breadcrumbs into the pan.
Add the diced courgette and fry until golden. Make sure to stir often so the courgette is evenly cooked. Drain in a coloander and leave to cool down in the colander, allowing all the oil to drain properly. Put them on a plate lined with several layer of kitchen paper to absorb the rest of the oil.
Meawhile, prepare the sauce: mix the cream cheese, sour cream, and mayonnaise in a bowl, and whisk until the mixture becomes smooth and shiny. Cover with cling film and store in the fridge until needed.
In a large bowl, lightly beat the eggs together with the grated cheese and flour. Season lightly (the cheese will already have added enough flavour to the batter.) Stir in the courgettes and mix well. The batter is ready when it is creamy and thick. If not thick enough, keep adding parmesan to it until it reaches the right consistency.
Heat 3 tbsps of vegetables oil in a large pan (use the breadcrumb method to check when it’s ready). using a tablespoon, spoon the mixture into the boiling oil to make several small, separated pancakes (you should get 12). Fry the pancakes for 2 minutes on each side. When ready, put them on a plate lined with kitchen paper, to absorb the excess oil, and leave them to cool down.
To serve, put three pancakes on each plate, topping them with cream sauce, and decorate them with a halbed cherry tomato in the middle and the cooked tiger prawns around it. This dish is best served cold from the fridge.
The courgettes pancakes will keep on their own for a maximum of five days in an airtight container. The cream cheese keeps (separately) for a maximum of two days in an airtight container.
Once mixed, the pancake batter will store for 24 hours in the fridge.
The best wine to go with this recipe is a chilled Sauvignon Blanc.
Store your confit in an airtight containe in the fridge for up to one week. To conserve it for longer, you'll need to dry the tomatoes out even more, use double the sugar, and store them in a sterilised glass jar, completly covered in extra-virgin olive oil.
Silvana Lanzetta. Photo: Private
Silvana Lanzetta was born into a family of pasta makers from Naples and spent 17 years as a part-time apprentice in her grandmother’s pasta factory. She specializes in making pasta entirely by hand and runs regular classes and workshops in London.