Thursday, October 20, 2011

Zucchini "Crab" Cakes with Tartare Sauce and Rosemary Roasted Potatoes (VeganMoFo)

I got the idea to make zucchini crab cakes from fellow MoFo-er Alisha of Pink Spatulas.  It just so happened that after making Vegan Dad’s Creamy Zucchini Farfalle I had 2 zucchini left – the exact amount that Pink Spatula’s recipe calls for.  How serendipitous!  Using the Pink Spatula recipe as a base, I put my own spin on the idea.

Zucchini Cakes

2 zucchini, shredded
1 small potato, shredded
1 small rib of celery, finely chopped
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed mixed with 1 tablespoon hot water (for the “egg”)
1 cup bread crumbs
1 tablespoon Spike seasoning (any all-purpose blend would work)
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1 bay leaf, crushed
Flour for dredging (I used whole wheat mixed with a bit more nut. yeast for this)

Mixing bowl
Heavy bottom skillet (or oven preheated to 400 – see Notes)

1.  Combine all ingredients except the flour in a medium to large mixing bowl. 
2.  Form into patties and lightly coat in your flour mixture.
3.  Pan fry in canola oil until golden brown on both sides and cooked throughout.

While these zucchini cakes didn’t fall apart in the pan like so many veggie burgers do, I think I’ll bake them next time.  I’m sure either way will work but for me, baking is my go-to method.  I always seem to have issues getting the inside of a patty to cook enough without burning the outside.  You’ll notice my zucchini cakes are a bit burnt (gasp!).  It didn’t affect the tastiness at all though.  When baking burgers and such I usually opt for a 375-400 degree oven and spray patties with a bit of olive oil on each side so they brown. 

I’m sure these don’t taste much like actual crab, though I wouldn’t really know.  You see, I am deathly allergic to all shell fish so even when I did eat meat I had to avoid crustaceans like the plague.  To make these fishier, you may try adding a bit of kelp powder to the mix.

Tartare Sauce:

I’ve never had real tartare sauce but I thought I’d make a version to go with these cakes since I think fried seafood is usually paired with the stuff.  It was delicious!   I wouldn’t skip it for this dish because it really was a great accompaniment to the cakes.  From what I read, traditional tartare sauce has a mayonnaise base.  Since I just made a fresh batch of sour cream, I used a sour cream base.  I doubt it made much difference.  Use whichever you have on hand.

½ cup sour cream or mayonnaise
½ tablespoon relish
1 tablespoon chopped capers
1-2 teaspoons lemon juice (more necessary if using mayonnaise instead of sour cream)

Combine all ingredients and use as a dip for your vegan crab cakes, fish sticks, calamari, etc. 

Again, I took Pink Spatula’s suggestion and enjoyed my zucchini crab cake with some roasted potatoes.  I flavored them with fresh rosemary and nutritional yeast.  These were the best roasted potatoes I have had in a long, long while.  I was worried that the amount of rosemary I used wouldn’t be enough to do anything, but the aroma filled my apartment as these baked and the rosemary flavor really shined. 

Rosemary Roasted Potatoes

2 russet potatoes, cut in quarters
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, roughly chopped
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
½ tablespoon nutritional yeast
Healthy sprinkle of garlic salt
Fresh ground black pepper

Oven preheated to 400 degrees
Glass baking dish
Foil to cover

1.  Take each of your potato quarters and about four deep slits in them.
2.  Place your chopped rosemary sprigs in the slits of your potatoes
3.  Drizzle with olive oil then top with garlic salt and pepper
4.  Cover with foil and bake for 20 – 30 minutes
5.  Remove foil and break your potato quarters up a bit with a fork.  Sprinkle with nutritional yeast, then bake for another 15 minutes or so, uncovered.  


  1. Mmmmm LOVE the crispy look of these, they sound FAB!

  2. What a clever way to make "crab" cakes. Adding this to my "must try" list. :-)