Starters

Pesto to the Rescue

Zucchini Cakes-Duo Dishes

The convenience of finding a packaged product that you love is a beautiful food find.  When we went to the Saban Free Clinic’s Extravaganza for the Senses in July, we were both gifted with a package of pesto from Maison Le Grand.  That was after we’d gobbled up a few of the samples.  The dairy-free, bright green pesto–named the garden pesto–was like a bite of pure herbs and lemon. So fresh.  So vibrant.  We really did love this pesto and knew immediately that we’d want to use it very soon.  Cut to September.  You’re probably thinking a month and a half is not quite ‘soon’, but we actually did make first use of it towards the end of July.  We’re just slow to share.  Hopefully, that’s OK.  Just a couple of squeezes perked up a tangy dip for one of our most used veggies–zucchini.


If you’re going to have a spread or a dip, you need something to put it on.  For us, it was zucchini cakes.  Always good, right?  Even better with a little eggplant and carrot, tons of garlic and fresh parsley.  Sounds great, but every cake needs a little icing.  In this case, the icing was a cool pesto yogurt dip.  Hello, Maison Le Grand!  Oh, and just so you know, Maison Le Grand is not sponsoring this message.  We just wanted to share the find, and maybe you’ll give it a try.  Now, if a rep from the company calls and wants to offer a few samples, we will surely not refuse his kindness.  Until then, we’ll have to poke around the markets and try to find it.  They have an orange sunflower seed sauce we are absolutely dying to try, so a bit of supermarket sleuthing will definitely be in order!

Zucchini Cakes with Pesto Yogurt Dip – Serves 4 to 6

Cakes
3 zucchini, grated
1 carrot, grated
1 eggplant, peeled and grated
1/2 red onion, grated
1/2 cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
2 eggs, whisked
Zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 – 1 1/2 cups panko crumbs
Grapeseed oil

Dip
6 ounces plain yogurt
2 tablespoons prepared pesto
Kosher salt

1.  Mix zucchini, carrot, eggplant, onion, garlic and parsley with parsley in a large bowl.

2.  In a separate bowl, whisk egg with butter, lemon juice and zest, cayenne pepper and salt.  Pour over grated veggies and mix well.

3.  Pour in panko crumbs, starting with 1 cup, and incorporate until mixture is thick enough to form patties.  Add remaining 1/2 cup if necessary.

4.  Pour a bit of grapeseed oil into a shallow pan.  When hot, use a 1/3 measuring scoop to shape patties.  Place in hot pan and flatten slightly with the hand.  Cook 2-3 minutes per side or until browned.

5.  As patties cook, whisk together yogurt, pesto and salt.  Keep chilled until ready to serve with zucchini cakes.

Click HERE for printable recipes.

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42 thoughts on “Pesto to the Rescue

  1. I can’t wait to try this. I think I may pull this recipe out in the Winter when I am dying for a taste of summer and looking for a use for all that stored zuchinni and frozen pesto portions.

  2. I still have not found a prepackaged pesto that I love so I have been forced to make my own. I love the sound of this dip, however! I shall definitely be attempting it, along with the zucchini cakes. Got to take advantage of the summer veggies while they are still here!

  3. Thanks for reminding me that I haven’t yet made zucchini cakes this year! This looks like the perfect recipe to try. I don’t think that I’ve ever had them with eggplant, but it sounds great!

  4. Pesto is one of the most versatile (and yummy!) sauces out there. I like how you used it here — would never have thought to put it with zucchini cakes!

  5. If only I had read this sooner! I just made pesto last night. And I had some great zucchini from a farm stand, but I sauteed it up and added it to some orzo and other veggies for my lunch this week!

    I still have eggplant left… and those cakes do sound delicious… hmm 🙂

  6. What a great dip for zucchini cakes! And it just so happens I have lots of zucchini to use up – I now have my side dish for dinner tonight – thank you!

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