Crisp Freekeh Zucchini Cakes


Here’s my advice: Make a double batch of these addicting whole-grain patties; they’re a crowd pleaser. They’re wonderful warm with a sprinkling of finishing salt, or served alongside a hearty soup for a light lunch or dinner. Or shake up your breakfast routine by topping the cakes with a runny egg or a few slices of avocado. And to make life easy, this is a great recipe to prep—or even cook— in advance.

Makes: 9–10 three-inch cakes | Start to finish: 40 minutes


1 cup (170g) cracked freekeh
2 and 3/4 cups shredded zucchini (about 1 pound or 3 medium)
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
3 large eggs, beaten
3/4 cup (75g) finely ground whole-wheat breadcrumbs
1 medium shallot, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1/3 cup (8g) chopped flat-leaf parsley, plus more to top
2 tablespoons whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup (40g) shredded Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more if needed
Finishing salt (like Maldon) to top


In a medium pot, bring the cracked freekeh and 2 cups of water to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20–25 minutes or until most of the liquid has been absorbed and the grains are tender (yet still chewy). Drain away any excess liquid.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, toss the zucchini with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and set aside 8–10 minutes. Drain by squeezing the zucchini in cheesecloth or a fineweave kitchen towel (you should be left with about 1 1/2 cups dry, shredded zucchini).

In a large bowl, combine the zucchini with the cooked freekeh, eggs, breadcrumbs, shallot, garlic, lemon zest, parsley, flour, Parmesan, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir well (I often use my hands here to really incorporate all of the ingredients) and let stand 5 minutes.

Form 3-inch patties about 3/4-inch thick and set aside on a large plate.

Pour the olive oil into a large, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat. Once the oil is shimmering and hot, place 3–4 patties in the pan and cook until the bottoms are dark golden brown, about 4 minutes. Flip and cook the other side 3–4 minutes.

Place cooked cakes on a plate lined with a paper towel to absorb any excess oil. Repeat with remaining patties, adding a little extra oil to the pan if they begin to stick.

Serve warm with a sprinkling of finishing salt and a pinch of chopped parsley.

Note: The cooked cakes keep well covered in the refrigerator 4–5 days. Or you can make the zucchini mix ahead and cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day.

vegetarian • dairy-free

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