When there is an abundance of zucchini in the peak of summer, one of the best uses is to turn it into a quick bread. We’ve taken that delicious baked good a step further and turned it into pancakes. The batter comes together quickly and you can feel good about eating zucchini for breakfast. Make sure you wring out as much water from the shredded zucchini as possible to prevent the pancakes from getting soggy.
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F and set a wire rack inside a rimmed baking sheet.
Spread the walnuts in a single layer on another rimmed baking sheet. Bake, shaking halfway through, until toasted and fragrant, about 35 minutes. Let cool, then chop. Do not turn off the oven.
Meanwhile, line a medium bowl with a kitchen towel. Grate the zucchini in a food processor using the grater attachment to yield 2 cups (see Cook’s Note). Transfer the grated zucchini to the towel-lined bowl and gather the sides to make a bundle. Squeeze out as much liquid from the zucchini as possible. Discard the liquid and set the zucchini aside.
Whisk together the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda and kosher salt in another medium bowl.
Whisk together the buttermilk, brown sugar, melted butter, vanilla and egg in a large bowl. Stir in the grated zucchini. Fold in the flour mixture until just combined. Let the batter rest for 10 minutes.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-low heat and lightly grease with vegetable oil. Ladle 1/4 cup of the batter onto the skillet to make a pancake (the batter is fairly thick, so you may need to spread it a bit). Make 1 or 2 more pancakes, taking care to space them apart evenly. Cook until the edges begin to brown and bubbles break the surface of the pancakes, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip with a spatula and cook 2 to 3 minutes more. Transfer to prepared rack and place in the oven to keep warm. Repeat with the remaining batter, adding more oil to the skillet as needed.
Serve the pancakes warm with salted butter, the toasted chopped walnuts and maple syrup.
You can also grate the zucchini into another medium bowl using the large holes of a box grater to yield 2 cups.
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