When I cooked the eggplant casserole with Béchamel sauce and sharp cheddar for Sam, her comment was that there was only one texture — the eggplants, Béchamel sauce and melted cheese were all soft. Ah, my merciless critic! But she’s also very right. Vegetarian dishes would definitely benefit from more contrasting textures. So, the next time I cooked vegetarian, I made these corn and zucchini cakes — colors and textures galore, crisp outside and soft inside.
But the contrast was not limited to textures and colors. There was a lot of contrast in flavors too — sweet corn and zucchini, salty fried onions, toasted garlic bits, tarragon, thyme, freshly cracked black pepper and celery salt.
- 1 cup shredded zucchini (I used a grater)
- 1 cup shredded sweet yellow corn
- 1 egg
- 4 tablespoons plain bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup fried shallots (homemade or store-bought)
- 1 tablespoon toasted garlic bits
- celery salt to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon chopped tarragon
- 1/4 tspteaspoon chopped thyme
- freshly cracked black pepper to taste
- cooking oil for frying
Squeeze the shredded zucchini with your hand to remove excess water so that the cakes won’t turn soggy.
Mix together all in the ingredients in a bowl (except the cooking oil, naturally).
Heat the cooking oil in a frying pan.
Drop the corn-zucchini mixture by heaping tablespoonfuls; flatten slightly with the back of a spoon.
Cook the cakes in batches of three or four to make sure that the cooking oil stays hot. If the temperature is right, it’ll take only about a minute for the underside to brown.
Flip the cakes and brown the opposite side.
Scoop out and drain on paper towels.
Serve the corn and zucchini cakes hot.