"Waste not, want not." Welcome to "zucchini week" here on A Veggie Venture, an attempt to keep up with baseball-sized summer squash that appear overnight on my kitchen counter. Without real effort, their next stop would be compost, especially because the big and dense zucchini can't be used with just any recipe. In addition, after being obsessed with baking all summer long, all of a sudden, turning on the oven is dead last on a long list of cooking ideas.
This is the first time I've made fritters, per se. At least with vegetables, a fritter implies a grated vegetable, bound together into a thin pancake, then fried til crisp in a skillet, though some times baked too. This is comfort food country-style, cheap eats, supper on a budget. They're substantial enough to make an entire meal or could be paired with grilled meat.
Time to table: maybe 45 minutes
Makes 8 good-sized fritters
1 pound zucchini, peeled if skins are tough, halved, seeds scooped out (for large zucchini only), grated
Zest of a lemon
1 small onion, chopped fine (about 1/4 cup)
Fresh basil, chopped fine
1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Pepper to taste
1 dried chili pepper
Line a colander with a paper towel, add the grated zucchini; top with another paper towel and press lightly. Let drain for about 30 minutes.
Whisk together eggs, zest, onion, basil, flour, salt and pepper. Gently fold in zucchini.
Heat a heavy skillet such as cast iron on MEDIUM HIGH. Add oil and chili pepper, let warm though. (The oil is hot enough when it sizzles when you flick water off your fingertips into the oil.) Drop heaping spoons of the fritter batter into the skillet, flatten a bit with the back of a skillet, smooth the edges if needed. Let cook until brown and crispy, turn over and repeat.
The large garden-huge zucchini I used cast off virtually no liquid during the draining stage so next time, I might gauge whether or not the draining step is required. Smaller zucchini, however, likely would require draining.
I cooked half the mixture one evening, the remainder the next with no ill effect.
No dried chili peppers on hand? Skip entirely or mince a small hot pepper for the fritter batter.
If needed, warm an oven to 300F to keep these warm for serving.
~ Shredded Zucchini with Thyme, a low-calorie fritter wannabe ~
~ Feta-Stuffed Zucchini ~
~ Zucchini Pumpkin Bread ~
~ more zucchini recipes ~
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