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Summer Zucchini Fritters

"What about zucchini fritters?" my mom asked. I had been lamenting the over-abundance of zucchini this time of year when two-thirds of household aren't fans of the stuff sautéed, grilled, shaved into ribbons or chopped into sticks. I, for the record, am the one-third that loves it. Immediately, I shot down the idea. I'd tried fritters a dozen or so times before, and each one was let-down. When they were easy, they were lame. When they were delicious, they took a massive amount of work that far outweighed their generally-understood ranking as a starter or vegetable side. Later, upon harvesting another two massive zucchini and a trio of yellow squash, I decided to reconsider. 

Zucchini fritter ingredients and bowl with dish towel as described in recipe - Quittner, Zucchini Fritters

If what I didn't like about good zucchini fritters was fussiness, and what I did like was crispiness and a hearty nature that would lead a stack of them to doubling as a vegetarian main, then I had to figure out a recipe that delivered what I needed and cut out what I didn't.

As with many meals, I started with a few base recipes. I looked around online, flipped through cookbooks, and narrowed down a core ingredient list. From there, I started making things up. It's a really professional process called "by-the-seat-of-ones-pants," and it's a my primary way of cooking. Improvising successfully does require a foundational understanding of processes and ingredients, but once you build those muscles you get to have a lot of fun in the kitchen with only periodic implosions (spring sorrel sauce recipe failure, I'm looking at you). 

Fritter mix in progress with two of our own eggs. - Quittner, Zucchini Fritters

What I ended up with wasn't just delicious — it was simple. One bowl, just a few steps, and fritters that tasted as good reheated the next day as they did out of the pan. It was, in short, a win. 

The finished zucchini fritters with garlic yogurt, mint, scallions, and lemon. - Quittner, Zucchini Fritters

Zucchini Fritters (10-12) 

  • 1lb zucchini and summer squash (whatever kinds you have)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup scallions, chopped 
  • 1 tbsp mint, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced 
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest 
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1.5 cups plain breadcrumbs (not panko) 
  • 2 tbsp flour
  1. Shred zucchini and squash into a large bowl lined with a dish towel using a box grater. Use the towel to wring as much water out of the zucchini as possible, dump the water, then return it to the bowl. 
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix thoroughly. Salt and pepper to taste. When fully mixed, it should hold together loosely. 
  3. Heat a high heat oil, 1/4" deep, like avocado or peanut oil, in a large cast iron pan. When hot, scoop 1/4 cup 'balls' of the zucchini mix into the pan and smoosh down to 1/4-1/2 inches thick. 
  4. Fry till golden on both sides. Removed to a rack, or a plate lined with a paper towel. 
  5. Serve with sliced scallions, mint chiffonade (long skinny strips), a wedge of lemon, and a garlic yogurt made from an unscientific combination of your preferred plain yogurt, minced garlic, salt, and pepper. 

One bowl. One pan. Absolutely delicious. 

 

Fritter mix with garlic yogurt - Quittner, Zucchini Fritters
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