Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Summer's Bounty: Zucchini Fritters

It’s that time of year where our zucchini plants are most prolific and I try to find innovative ways to prepare our bounty of squash. I make noodles out of them with my mandoline and serve with a warm pasta sauce or cold with an Asian-flavored sauce, bake loaves of zucchini bread, and make a quick zucchini/green bean salad. I add them to chili, grill them on the barbeque, and slice them into salads. But I needed something more.

This led me to zucchini fritters and I have been trying out different recipes the last few weeks. My favorite is one from Bon Appetit (July 2013). The recipe itself is solid and needed no adjustment, but my one change was swapping out the soy dipping sauce. I prefer a creamy sauce, one that utilizes our lemons and makes the fritter look more like a potato pancake when dressed. I’ll include both sauce recipes below so you can choose which you prefer. I am thinking these might even be good in a smaller version, served as an appetizer.

The recipe was easy enough and preparation and cooking time were minimal. The majority of the time was spent draining the zucchini of excess water. While you can use a standard cheese grater for the zucchini, I highly recommend using a food processor or mandoline to grate the zucchini, as you tend to get better strands.

The fritters fried up quickly in a minimal amount of oil and can be kept warm in the oven as you finish the batch. Do not crowd the fritters. Most skillets will accommodate 4-5 fritters at a time, and you will need to make at least 2 batches.

Zucchini Fritters
1 1/2 pounds zucchini (about 3 medium), grated
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt plus more for seasoning
1 large egg
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup vegetable oil

Place grated zucchini in a colander set in the sink and toss with 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Let stand for 10-15 minutes, then wring zucchini dry in a clean kitchen towel. Place zucchini in a large bowl and gently mix in egg, flour, chives, and cornstarch; season with salt and pepper.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Drop 1/4-cupfuls of zucchini mixture into skillet, flattening slightly; cook until golden and crisp, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer fritters to a paper towel–lined plate; season with salt. Repeat as needed.

Note: Fritters can be made 30 minutes ahead. Keep warm in a 200° oven.

Lemon-Garlic Sauce
1 cup sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon seasoning salt

Mix all ingredients in small bowl and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow flavors to meld.

Soy Dipping Sauce
3 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
Crushed red pepper flakes

Mix vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, and a pinch of red pepper flakes in a small bowl until sugar is dissolved. Set aside.

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