Working with What You Have: The Friday Fridge
DISH: Squash and Sweet Potato “Pancakes”
MAIN INGREDIENTS: Squash, Sweet Potato, Chickpea
TYPE: Left Behind in the Fridge
The things I find in my refigerator on a Friday are sometimes weird. At the end of last week, I opened it to discover the remainder of a can of chickpeas, two thick, pre-cooked slices of [insert obscure farmer’s market variety here] winter squash, and about a third of a raw sweet potato I’d used for soup the weekend before. In other words, the makings of a healthy lunch: veggie burger-like patties, to which my various squashes and beans would no doubt impart a hearty, packable texture. In retrospect, I must have been inspired by an old Molly Katzen recipe for “Sweet Potato Koftas” that my family and I used to make frequently. That dish is fragrant with toasted whole cumin seeds, which I didn’t have, so I added a sprinkling of ground cumin to evoke the same tastes.
Squash and Sweet Potato “Pancakes”
Makes 4 medium patties, serves 2-4
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 sweet potato (about 4 oz), diced
1 garlic clove, minced
about 1 cup cooked winter squash
1/2 cup cooked chickpeas
dash of hot sauce (optional)
dash of turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon finely minced ginger root
1 tablespoon flour
Yogurt, chopped herb, and pita (optional, for serving)
Pre-heat the oven to 400°F.
Saute the onion in oil over medium heat. When it starts to soften, add the sweet potato and garlic and continue to cook until the sweet potato has softened. (The smaller you cut the pieces, the quicker this will happen.)
Mash the chickpeas with a fork or in a food processor. Add the squash, salt, spices, hot sauce, and ginger. When the onion mixture is ready, add it to the mash. Stir in the flour.
Brush a baking sheet with oil. Form the mixture into four even patties, flattening them with your palm. Bake for 1o minutes, then carefully flip each pancake and bake for 10 minutes more.
Serve with a dollop of yogurt, a squeeze of lemon juice, and some chopped cilantro.