Zucchini, herb and feta fritters!
Ever wonder what summer tastes like? You might think it’s cool like ice cream, or bursting with citrus zing, but we’re pretty sure that if you could sample the essence of summer on your tongue it would taste like zucchini. Seriously!
Every summer, for as long as we can remember, when our parents plant their garden there is a special section devoted for zucchini and other squash. In their current home, where they have been for several years, they actually have what we refer to as an annex to their garden. The back fence bordering their tomatoes and peppers and spinach has been jimmied so that it opens up just wide enough for someone (our dad) to squeeze through. On the other side, at a width of several feet, our parents plant their squash. Here they grow pumpkins, butternut squash, zucchini and all sorts of other colourful and bizarre looking gourds, free and uninhibited; the only other things you will find here are some grape leaf vines and wild flowers. Talk about a secret garden!
So much squash requires many squash recipes. Although we love baked pumpkin fritters, stuffed zucchini and baked vegetable dishes which incorporate this bounty, one of our favourite recipes are these zucchini fritters. Small, fried and made of not much more than zucchini, fresh herbs and feta these fritters are as addictive as they are easy.
Zucchini are very watery vegetables! For this reason, you need to let them drain for at least 30 minutes after you shred them. However, draining is not enough. To remove as much water as possible you have to squeeze it out. The easiest way to do this is to use a cheesecloth or clean kitchen towel. At the very least you need to squeeze the zucchini with your hands. If you do not remove enough of the water from your zucchini you will need to use too much flour when preparing your fritters, just to get them to hold together.
This recipe asks that you first fry and then bake your fritters. The first step provides a nice crispy exterior, and finishing them off in the oven keeps them from getting greasy. If you prefer, you could cook them entirely in the oven (if you do, increase the cooking time by about 5 – 10 minutes) but life is short, so we think you should fry a little.
Mia Kouppa: Zucchini fritters
- 3 cups shredded zucchini, unpeeled
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg
- 1/3 cup flour
- 1/4 cup crumbled Greek feta
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
- 2 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, for frying
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, for frying
- Place your shredded zucchini in a colander and sprinkle the salt over it, tossing well to evenly distribute the salt. Allow the zucchini to drain for at least 30 minutes, and longer if possible.
- After it has drained, place your zucchini in a cheesecloth or clean kitchen towel and squeeze out all excess water. Alternatively, you can squeeze the water out using your hands, but it is much more difficult to remove all the water this way.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Farenheit.
- In a large bowl, stir together all of the ingredients, except the vegetable and olive oils meant for frying.
- When the zucchini fritter mixture is well combined, place the cooking oils into a frying pan set over medium high heat.
- When the oil is hot, use a tablespoon to drop the zucchini fritter mixture into the pan, being careful not to over crowd the pan. Cook for 3 – 4 minutes, until golden brown and then carefully flip each fritter over and cook for another 3 – 4 minutes. Transfer the fritters to a parchment lined baking sheet. When your baking sheet is filled, bake in the middle rack of your oven for 25 – 30 minutes.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly. Enjoy.