- 4 medium zucchini
- 1½ tablespoons coarse salt
- 3 cloves garlic, minced and crushed to a paste
- 9 fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
- ¾ cup all purpose flour
- 6 tablespoons water
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Cut off the ends of the zucchini and cut the zucchini crosswise in half so you end up with 2 pieces about 4 inches long. Using a vegetable slicer or by hand, slice each of the zucchini pieces lengthwise into 1/8-inch-thick slices. With a chef’s knife, slice each of these into 1/8-inch-wide julienne strips. (If you have a French mandoline you can use the julienne blades to julienne the zucchini in one step.) Rub the salt into the zucchini strips until the salt dissolves and you can’t feel the grains. Drain the zucchini in a colander for 30 minutes.
Combine the garlic, sage, and 6 tablespoons of the flour in a small mixing bowl. Stir the water into the flour mixture and work to a smooth paste with a small whisk.
Spread the remaining 6 tablespoons flour on a work surface.
Squeeze the zucchini in small batches in a tight fist to extract as much water as you can. Gently stir the zucchini into the flour-water mixture and season with pepper. Form the mixture into hamburger-shaped pancakes about ½ inch thick and about 4 inches across and gently flour them on both sides.
Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large nonstick frying pan or cast-iron skillet. (If you don’t have a large enough pan, you’ll have to make the pancakes in two batches.) Gently slide the pancakes into the hot oil. Cook for about 7 minutes on the first side until golden brown. Gently turn the patties over with a spatula and cook for 5 minutes on the other side—flatten them from time to time with the back of a spatula to compress them and make them thinner. Serve immediately or reserve in a 200˚F oven for up to 30 minutes.
Variation: Replace the flour in the sage and garlic mixture and the flour for coating with the same amount of finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Don’t add any water to the sage-garlic-cheese mixture.