Zucchini Fritters

We take a break from the non-stop stream of jams & preserves to serve up another abundant feature of summer’s bounty: zucchini!

As Ruhlman says, “when in doubt, fry.” These were tasty, easy and relatively quick. The recipe is eminently adaptable to what you have on hand and what suits your palate. Whip some up today and tackle at least one of those monster zucchinis, mocking you from the bottom shelf of the fridge.

Adapted from Zucchini Fritters with Feta & Dill in Live to Cook by Michael Symon, courtesy of Michael Ruhlman

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Zucchini Fritters

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 and 1/2 lbs zucchini
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 large scallion, white and green parts, finely chopped (a generous 1/4 cup)
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsely, chopped
  • 2 tsp dried mint, crumbled (or 2 tbsp fresh mint, chopped)
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp Penzey’s Greek Seasoning (a mix of salt, oregano, lemon peel, black pepper, garlic, marjoram)
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp hot chile flakes
  • 1/2 tsp dried lemon balm (optional)
  •  4 oz feta cheese, coarsely chopped or crumbled
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 – 6 tbsp whole wheat pastry flour or all-purpose flour
  • canola oil, for frying

METHODS

  1. Scrub zucchini and grate onto a clean kitchen towel (I used an 8-ball zucchini, which I find quite seedy, so I removed the seeds first). Spread the grated zucchini out on the towel and sprinkle the salt over; allow to sit, with the salt drawing water out of the zucchini, while you prepare the remaining ingredients.
  2. Combine scallion, parsley, mint, garlic, Greek seasoning, lemon zest, pepper and chile flakes, lemon balm and feta in a large bowl. Mix well.
  3. Twist zucchini in the kitchen towel, over the sink, to remove water. Remove as much water from the zucchini as possible.  Scrape zucchini from the towel and add to the mixing bowl.  Add egg; mix together well with the vegetables and spices. Add flour, starting with 3 tbsp and continue adding, 1 tbsp at a time, until the fritter ‘dough’ seems wet but cohesive. (This makes a quite wet dough). Form dough into thin fritters with your hands (I used a 2-tbsp measure and flattened the fritters to about 1/2-inch high).
  4. In a medium frying pan, pour oil to a depth of about 1/4-inch and heat over medium-high flame until oil is shimmering but not smoking (about 375 degrees F). Fry, turning once, until crisp and golden, about 2 – 3 minutes per side. Remove and drain on paper towels. Continue frying in batches until you run out of dough.
  5. Serve garnished with extra parsley and scallions, along with Greek yogurt or tzatziki for dipping sauce. Or get wacky and serve with chutney, BBQ sauce, or even ketchup.

Yields about 8, 3-inch fritters.

OPTIONS

  1. You can check out the original recipe on Ruhlman’s blog.  I did not have fresh dill in the house (alas, I had hung a bunch to dry just a few days ago), so I substituted flat-leaf parsley. I also added dried lemon balm, dried mint (no fresh mint, either!) and some of the Penzey’s Greek seasoning because I’m wacky like that. This recipe is pretty adaptable; I thought of making a cilantro/lime/cumin version, and maybe a spicy one with chiles en adobo and smoked paprika.
  2. Since Tai hates zucchini (aka the Evil Weed) I am constantly on the lookout for ways to use zucchini that don’t, you know, taste like zucchini (my zucchini bread recipe is one). Sadly, this is not one; the zucchini flavor comes through pretty strongly, which is great for us zuke-lovers, but not so great for the zuke-adverse. If you, too have a loved one who is trying to break into the zucchini habit, I would recommend halving the amount of zucchini in the recipe, to make it more “stuff” and less “zuke.”
  3. I bet this would work just as well with yellow summer squash, or a mixture of both. A little grated carrot would punch up the color and the texture as well.

STORE

Best eaten fresh.

SEASON

Summer. I still have bags of grated zucchini (destined for zucchini breads) left in the freezer from last summer; I’ll try to get around to testing those out in this fritter recipe and let you know if this can be converted to year round.

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4 comments

  1. This is a wonderful idea for eating zucchini. I buy a ton of it in the summer but sometimes get lazy when it comes to cooking them in a fun way. I will need to try these out 🙂

  2. kim

    Interesting… I made something very similar to this with some kohlrabi a few weeks ago. it was good for breakfast too!

  3. Yum. I’ve done a somewhat modified baked version (without the egg, but otherwise similar flavors) and they came out wonderfully crispy. I admit, it was mostly out of not wanting to stand over the hot frying oil! As with skinny101grly above, I have a mountain of zucchini every week, but get a bit lax on creatively using them.

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