Summer Squash Pancake with Dill Yogurt Sauce (Gluten-free)

Recipe VERY scientifically experimented from: various zucchini fritter recipes 

squash fritters

Have you seen a dead cactus?  I have, because I managed to kill one before. And it’s truly one of the saddest sights you would ever see. It was given to me as a souvenir from my co-worker’s Santa Fe vacation – The entire office was horrified and dismayed when they discovered a brown shriveled shell looping over a tiny Mexican clay pot on my desk months after. I was immediately declared to have “toxic black thumb”, never to care for any living things EVER.

squashesThe fact that I now live with 3 dogs and grow vegetables is not because I am sufficiently rehabilitated, but because animals let me know when they need to be fed, and also I have, over the course of years, haphazardly yet continuously developed a catalog of plants that can survive my gardening skills (or the lack of).

Squashes definitely make the cut in my short list, and every year I plant at least a couple of different kinds – This year I settled with yellow crookneck and pale green pattypan types.  They did not disappoint, and in my opinion, now deserve to be made into something spectacular – Like these yummy fritters.

Of course they are hardly my innovation but rather traditional and popular Mediterranean snack. But I did tinker with various recipes to find the balance that would strike a sweet spot for me every time.

For instance, I didn’t want feta to overwhelm delicate flavor of squash so the ratio of ingredients was critical to nail down.  And although I usually do adore fluffy, soft pancakes, I wanted these to hold shape easily when I flip them and feel more substantial for a meal, but without being heavy. For this I had been pretty happy with the results I was getting from right amount of good old all-purpose flour, but one day I happened to use chickpea flour instead out of curiosity and never went back – It was exactly the texture I was looking for, and I loved the slight nutty flavor it added.

So go ahead, have your cake and eat it, too. Because these are low carb and gluten-free, and I still have lots of those squashes to come until the end of long and hot LA summer.

RECIPE (About 10-12 fritters)

Ingredients:

Summer squash pancakes

  • 2 medium summer squashes or zucchinis, coarsely grated
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 oz Feta cheese, crumbled
  • 4 tablespoons Chickpea flour
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Dill yogurt sauce

  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons fresh dill, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic power
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Make sure to grate squashes right before you start cooking. They get waterly if you leave them too long after being grated. If they feel already too wet as soon as you grate them, gently squeeze them to get rid of excess water.
  2. Whisk eggs in a large mixing bowl. Add squash, cheese and flour and fold them into the eggs until everything is mixed evenly.
  3. Heat oil in large non-stick skillet over medium high heat until the oil is hot. Drop tablespoons of batter into the skillet (the oil should be hot enough that they should sizzle). Use a spatula, if necessary, to form them into a round shape (or not – clearly I was not paying attention to this step as you see in the picture above).
  4. Cook until both sides are nicely browned, about 4-6 minutes per side. Transfer to the plate and serve with the yogurt sauce.
  5. To make dill yogurt sauce:  While fritters are being cooked, whisk all the ingredients in a small mixing bowl until they are combined and smooth. Serve it alongside fritters once they are done.
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