recipes of the week: squash pancakes and pink pickles

Once again: not together.

This morning I had a craving for squash pancakes. Squash meaning zucchini and pancakes like my Great Aunt Edith used to make, muppet-green, crispy brown edges, and served with sour cream and homemade blackberry jam.

I’m afraid I have not yet ventured successfully into the land of jam making, and we are currently without sour cream, but I went ahead and made the pancakes anyway.

The original recipe, as handed down to me from Aunt Edith (by way of American convenience food substitutions) goes like this: Make one batch worth of Bisquick pancake batter in a blender, add sour cream and a zucchini. She wasn’t specific about amounts. I’d guess around 1/3 cup of sour cream and one big or two small zucchinis. Fry in LOTS of butter (this is key). These should be small pancakes, about 1-2 TBSP of batter each.

This morning, lacking Bisquick or sour cream, I did this: 1-1/2 cups flour, 1/3 cup quark (a sour curd, like a cross between ricotta and sour cream), 1 large zucchini, 1 large egg, 1 teaspoon baking powder, sprinkle of salt.

Keep pancakes warm in a 200-degree oven until ready to serve. I had mine today with apricot jam and a piece of leftover duck-and-fig sausage.

* * *

Pink pickles are another childhood favorite; basically pickled turnips colored with beet juice. A middle-eastern condiment. Serve with salad, hummus, tabbouli, cheese, etc.

I loosely followed a recipe I found on the internet, combined with what I remember my Grandma Esther telling me. Later I checked with Aunt Renee for her recipe and I include both below.

What I did: Halve and slice any number of turnips (I had two). Let sit in a bowl of ice water for 30 minutes. Drain. Sprinkle liberally with salt and mix with your hands. Peel and cut about 1/4 to 1/2 beet for each turnip. Layer turnips and beets in a jar. Fill halfway with vinegar (in one jar I used champagne vinegar, in the other I used apple cider — I’m experimenting). Fill remainder with water. Seal and let sit on counter for three days. Refrigerate.

The one with apple cider vinegar came out more red. I think the champagne vinegar one tastes a little better. Also, these are more fuschia than pink. Maybe less beet next time?

I wasn’t clear whether sterilization would be necessary or not, but just in case, I washed my jars in the dishwasher on the hottest setting, and used fresh canning jar tops — which I boiled first.

Aunt Renee’s recipe leaves out the ice bath step, and boils the vinegar with a little sugar before adding. This cuts down on acidity. She puts about one inch of vinegar in the jar and then the beet and turnips (which I think would be better than what I did in recipe above — too vinegar-y) and then water, and salt — to taste. Let sit until turnips turn pink then refrigerate. (Like my grandmother, she also didn’t say anything about sterilizing.)

You can also roast the beet first, but that’s optional.

1 comment for “recipes of the week: squash pancakes and pink pickles

  1. September 6, 2008 at 9:56 pm

    Squash pancakes what a wonderful idea! Thank you for posting I have tons of squash to use!

    SavoryTv’s last blog post..A warm and delicious savory shrimp soup with Chef Vic Lulla

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