Zucchini Johnnycakes are crispy little cornmeal pancakes with shredded zucchini for some seasonal flair. Enjoy them with sweet or savory toppings for breakfast, lunch or dinner!
With zucchini harvesting in full swing, I need to keep up with my garden! Johnnycakes also known as Southern Cornmeal Pancakes sounded absolutely delicious!
What are Johnnycakes?
Johnnycakes are like a pancake, except made with cornmeal instead of flour. They are crispier on the outside and have a slightly denser texture than a fluffy regular pancake. Really johnnycakes are a cornmeal flatbread. And frankly, they’re pretty darn delicious!
Originating in New England from the Native American population living in the area 350+ years ago, these little cornmeal patties have quite the following in Rhode Island. Even an organization dedicated to the preservation of traditional ways of making them using heirloom white corn. We will just stick to the basic concept with this recipe.
The versatility of Johnnycakes make them perfect for breakfast, lunch and even dinner. Topped with fresh fruit and maple syrup they can be enjoy just like any other pancake. But savory versions don’t fall short!
Think of johnnycakes as you would chicken and waffles. Crispy, sweet from the cornmeal, yet plenty of room for salty flavors to go on top.
The addition of zucchini doesn’t effect sweet or savory options since zucchini doesn’t pack much flavor. You’re just adding more veggies. That’s the beauty of zucchini – versatile and healthy!
Some savory ways to enjoy these zucchini johnnycakes:
- Simply serve with a side of spinach salad for a light meal.
- Dressed one up with some black beans and this peach salsa recipe.
- Go ahead, add some fried chicken and maple syrup.
- Layered with avocado and fresh tomatoes.
- Top with a slice of cheddar cheese, fried egg and hot sauce!
Zucchini Griddle Cakes are crispy little pancakes with sweet cornmeal and shredded zucchini. They're awesome for breakfast or lunch!
- 1 1/2 cup fine or medium cornmeal
- 1 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
- 1 1/2 cup boiling water
- 1/2 cup regular or non-dairy milk or more as needed
- 1 medium zucchini, grated (medium sized grate, not super fine)
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 large garlic clove
- 1 shallot
- 1 jalapeño
- 2 tbs butter melted
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp cinnamon
Combine the cornmeal, salt, and 1 1/2 cups boiling water in a bowl and let it sit until the cornmeal absorbs the water and softens, 5 to 10 minutes. It will be thick.
While waiting for the cornmeal to thicken, grate zucchini. Press grated zucchini with a towel to remove some of the excess moisture.
When the cornmeal has thickened, stir in the milk a little at a time until the batter becomes spreadable yet still thick.
Add in grated zucchini + savory or sweet options of your choice.
On a large non-stick griddle heated (medium heat), add a tablespoon of vegetable oil to coat the griddle. Add spoonfuls of batter in any size you'd like and cook until edges and underside are golden brown. This should take 3 to 5 minutes, then flip and brown the other side.
Top with butter and/or maple syrup - they go well with sweet or savory versions!
Adapted from a recipe by Mark Bittman, New York Times