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Summer Squash and Cornmeal Cakes

These little cakes make for some fab finger food, or just a light vegetarian lunch. I topped mine with a little baby arugula and pickled radishes to add crunch and color. But they'd also taste great with just a dollop of good homemade aioli. You can substitute regular flour for the rice flour if you aren't eating gluten-free.
Author Phoebe Lapine


  • 1 ½ cups coarsely grated zucchini about 1 medium
  • 1 ½ cups coarsely grated yellow squash about 1 medium
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 3 large eggs beaten
  • ¼ cup ground yellow cornmeal
  • 3 tablespoons white rice flour or regular AP flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Vegetable oil


  1. Mix together the grated squashes, tarragon, lemon juice and zest, and egg in a medium bowl. Stir in the cornmeal, flour, and salt until just combined.
  2. Meanwhile heat a thin layer of vegetable oil in a large cast iron skillet over a medium-high flame. When the oil is hot, add the batter in tablespoon-fuls to the pan, making sure not to crowd the cakes. You should be able to fry about 8 at a time, depending on the size of your pan. Press each mound of zucchini down with the back of your spatula to form flat little patties, about 2-inches in diameter. Cook until golden brown on the first side, about 1 to 2 minutes, and then flip and cook until crispy on the second side.
  3. Remove the cooked cakes to a paper towel to drain. Add more oil as necessary, and repeat with the remaining batter.
  4. Serve the cakes with a dollop of aioli and garnish with some fresh herbs, lettuce, or pickled veg - radishes worked great!