In Season for Summer: Zucchini

The fresh flavor of zucchini is perfectly equipped to handle a crunchy, fried exterior.

The season is definitely winding down. Gone are the berries, we are just about ready to say goodbye to the stone fruit and the corn will soon be a distant memory. The one vegetable that does not seem attuned to the autumn breeze is, as usual, the zucchini.

If you have ever planted zucchini, you know that they are quick growers. It seems like one day you look out in the garden and the vines are littered with yellow blossoms, and the very next time you look, there are a slew of tiny vegetables burgeoning. And if you aren’t careful, these tiny vegetables will turn into monstrous, woody beasts!

I do a lot with zucchini at each stage of their growing cycle. I stuff and deep-fry the blossoms; I eat the young zukes raw in a salad; I have even been known to stuff and bake the aged monstrosities. But what I like to do with those average yet delicious adults is to make fritters out of them.

With a grater and a little preparation, you can have these fritters on the table in no time. Zucchini has a high water content, so after grating, I salt the raw zuke and let quite a bit of the water leech out while I prepare the rest of the meal. A bit of tangy plain yogurt seasoned with fresh dill makes these fritters a perfect last hurrah to summer!

Zucchini Fritters

3 medium zucchini, grated
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
4 tablespoons flour
1 egg, beaten
3 tablespoons ricotta or feta cheese
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh dill, minced
Salt and pepper

Place the grated zucchini in a colander over a large bowl. Salt liberally and let sit for about 30 minutes. Much of the liquid will leech out. Squeeze the zucchini to release any remaining moisture, then discard this liquid.

Pour one tablespoon of olive oil into a medium skillet. Over medium-high heat, saute the zucchini with the scallions and garlic until thoroughly wilted and beginning to color, about 3 minutes. Add the flour and continue to saute to cook out the raw flour taste, about 2 minutes.

Remove from heat and place zucchini in a mixing bowl. Wipe out the skillet. Add the egg, ricotta cheese and dill to the zucchini mixture. Mix well. Season with salt and pepper.

Pour the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil into the cleaned skillet. Over medium heat, warm the olive oil until shimmery, and then place the fritter mixture in 2-tablespoon dollops into the skillet, flattening slightly with a spatula. Fry until golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. The batter should make 8 to 10 fritters.

What’s your favorite kind of fritter? Chime in below!

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