August 16, 2013

Herbed Zucchini Fritters

Herbed Zucchini Fritters

Is anyone really crazy about zucchini? How unfortunate that this low-maintenance vegetable that grows easily and abundantly in this part of the country so often ends up in the "can't give it away" category.

Low in calories with a good amount of vitamin C, zucchini, while not exactly a superfood, is a whole food, cheap and plentiful. Time to give it a chance. But I've never been excited about the flavor which, to me, has a slightly metallic edge. So I did what any sensible person does when faced with a food they don't like much...I fried it in oil. A crispy, salty brown crust forgives many culinary shortcomings and it really works with this one. I added a healthy dose of fresh basil and chives to sweeten up the zucchini and a bit of baking powder for lift (thank you Smitten Kitchen for this tip). 

These are great to make while you're catching up with your family, having a glass of wine and eating them as they come out of the pan. Delicious on their own, or with a bit of sour cream or tzatziki

Note: Don't skip the step of salting, draining and squeezing the zucchini if you want crisp fritters (you do) and use a nice heavy pan. I've tried both nonstick and cast-iron and while cast-iron has a slight edge for crust, both work well. Don't be tempted to cook these too fast - I made this mistake once and had eggy, raw centers. Also, please use olive oil. It's zucchini's buddy and the flavors are really complimentary.



Herbed Zucchini Fritters


Herbed Zucchini Fritters

Makes approx. 8 fritters (4 small fritters per zucchini)

2 zucchini
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup chopped basil or parsley
1/4 cup chopped chives or green onions
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1 egg
1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3-4 grinds black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil 

1. Trim ends of zucchini and shred on largest holes of box grater. Place in a colander, sprinkle with salt, mix and set over a bowl to drain for 20-30 minutes. Dump drained zucchini onto a clean kitchen towel, wrap up tight and squeeze over the sink. You won't believe how much water these puppies will leach. 

2. Place "dry" zucchini, chopped herbs and zest in a bowl. 

3. Mix flour and baking powder together in a small bowl and sprinkle over zucchini, adding a few grinds of black pepper. Mix gently. Beat egg in a separate bowl, add to mix and stir just until combined. 

4. Heat oil in pan over medium heat until hot. Add a heaping tablespoon of batter and gently flatten with back of spoon. Fry for about 4 minutes per side. Remove to a plate and repeat with remaining batter. You can keep these warm (or re-warm) in a hot oven, but they're best eaten immediately. 


Zucchini Fritters


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