I know that it’s not quite summer squash season yet- I mean, there is still snow on the ground… but I had some extra zucchini laying around in an attempt to get my daughter to eat more vegetables, so I thought I would try to disguise them a bit in a fritter. It just so happened to work out in my favor because fritters ended up being the Daring Cook’s challenge for the month as well : )
Many years ago I made some zucchini pancakes. I was pretty interested to see how the fritter’s would compare to the “pancakes” because they seemed like a pretty similar concept. The verdict? Similar, but oh so different. The fritters were much more substantial. They use a lot more flour than “pancakes” and in the end, seem more like a pancake in texture and thickness than the latter. Honestly I think I might prefer the fritter’s. There is just more to them. And since they are sturdier in texture than their flimsy alternative, they allow for a nice sour cream topping : ) Yum! I actually didn’t have any sour cream to put on these, but boy, I sure wish I did.
Fritter’s are easy to throw together and fry up in a minimal amount of oil. I don’t make them too often myself. I think it’s mostly because I forget about them than anything else. They really are a great way to dress up a vegetable though- or a fruit for that matter!
Zucchini fritter’s do require one extra step during preparation however-
Similar to cucumber and tomatoes, zucchini are FULL of excess water.
And as soon as the salt seasoning your fritter hits that zucchini, it is going to weep.
Solution! Salt and strain your shredded zucchini for 15 minutes before mixing.
Don’t forget to wring or squeeze them out at the end! You won’t believe how much water they store.
Now your fritter’s won’t be soggy : )
This recipe suggests adding some chopped green onion for flavor. I totally agree.
Unfortunately I didn’t have any on hand so I went without, but I highly encourage you to pick some up! It’ll add an extra layer of flavor.
Spices are welcome too. I thought a pinch of cayenne would be great.
I mixed the flour and seasonings in a small bowl before combining with the zucchini and egg.
I just think that it helps distribute everything more evenly.
After you mix the zucchini with the flour mixture, you just have to shallow fry the batter.
They fry up quick, about 3 minutes per side, or just until nicely browned.
HINT- If you place them on a baking sheet and let them sit in a low heated oven for about 10 minutes,
they will set up nicely with an especially crisp crust.
Go ahead and drain them on some paper towels too to get rid of the greasy excess oil.
Plate ‘em, serve ‘em, eat ‘em up!
Seriously though, consider the sour cream.
It would make a killer hot/cold combination!
- 1 pound (about 2 medium) zucchini
- 1 teaspoon salt, plus extra to taste
- 2 scallions, split lengthwise and sliced thin
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- Freshly ground black pepper
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- Olive or another oil of your choice, for frying
To Serve (optional):
- 1 cup sour cream or plain, full-fat yogurt
- 1 to 2 tablespoon lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon lemon zest
- Pinches of salt
- 1 small minced or crushed clove of garlic
Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Set a baking sheet aside.
Trim ends off zucchini and grate them on the large holes of a grater.
In a large bowl, toss zucchini with 1 teaspoon salt and set aside for 10 minutes. Wring out the zucchini in one of the following ways: pressing it against the holes of a colander with a wooden spoon to extract the water, squeezing out small handfuls at a time, or wrapping it up in a clean dishtowel or piece of cheese cloth and wringing away.
Return deflated mass of zucchini shreds to bowl. Taste and if you think it could benefit from more salt add more; we found ¼ teaspoon more just right. Stir in scallions, egg and some freshly ground black pepper. In a tiny dish, stir together flour and baking powder, then stir the mixture into the zucchini batter.
In a large heavy skillet (cast iron, if you’d like) heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Drop small bunches of the zucchini mixture onto the skillet only a few at a time so they don’t become crowded and lightly nudge them flatter with the back of your spatula. Cook the fritters over moderately high heat until the edges underneath are golden, about 3 to 4 minutes. If you find this happening too quickly, reduce the heat to medium. Flip the fritters and fry them on the other side until browned underneath again, about 2 to 3 minutes more. Drain briefly on paper towels then transfer to baking sheet and then into the warm oven until needed. Repeat process, keeping the pan well-oiled, with remaining batter. If you give your fritters about 10 minutes in the oven, they will finish setting and get extra crisp.
For the Topping: Stir together the sour cream, lemon juice, zest, salt and garlic and adjust the flavors to your taste. Dollop on each fritter before serving.