Eat well for less with our regular series of quick, delicious and wallet-friendly recipes by campaigner, columnist and award-winning food writer Jack Monroe.
This is much the same as my humble gramcake recipe, but a little more substantial. I often get readers asking me what they can do with a glut of courgettes, and being a polite girl, I’m inclined to give an answer of the culinary variety. Come the summer, it seems as though everyone I know has a courgette going begging, and if you don’t know anyone who grows them, they’re pretty cheap to buy. You can also get them frozen and sliced in some supermarkets, which can work out even cheaper than buying them fresh! Just defrost them and finely slice or dice them, to use in this recipe.
1 decent sized courgette or 300g frozen and defrosted
Juice and zest of half a lemon or 1 tbsp lemon juice
125g gram flour (or self raising if you dont have it)
1 medium egg
A pinch of chilli or black pepper
A pinch of salt
2 tbsp cooking oil, for frying
Line a large bowl with a clean tea towel or a few sheets of kitchen roll, and grate the courgette into it. Use the tea towel or kitchen roll to wring out excess moisture over the sink, and then return the courgette to the bowl.
Add the lemon juice, and then the flour, and give it all a good mix to coat the courgettes fairly evenly.
Add 125ml cold water or milk and mix well, then add another 125ml and mix again. Add the egg and toss in the lemon zest, if using, and chilli, pepper, and salt. Give it one last stir, and pop it in the fridge for at least half an hour for a rest.
When it is chilled, warm a large non-stick frying pan over a high heat with a little oil for a minute. Turn the heat down to medium, and pour in a quarter of the batter. Cover the pan with a large lid (any pan lid will do; if it’s a little large, all the better), or a dinner plate, and cook for a few minutes until the underside starts to set. If the top is covered, this will start to set, too.
Very, very carefully, using a spatula, remove the pancake and turn it over. Cook for a few more minutes on the other side, before removing and setting to one side. At this point I generally turn the oven on, with a lightly greased baking tray in it, at 120C/250F/Gas Mark 1, to keep them warm while I cook the rest. Or you could have four frying pans on the go, but I don’t even own four frying pans and I do this for a living!
Repeat until all of the mixture is gone, which should give you four decent sized and delicious lemony courgette pancakes. Top with soft cheese, or natural yoghurt, or baked beans, or anything else you fancy.