25 August 2009

Rites of Summer: Zucchini Zeitgeist Edition

Zucchini fritters seem to be in the Zeitgeist these days (does the Zeitgeist get hungry?) -- there was a recipe for them in the Post last week and Nigella Lawson was talking about them on NPR this morning.

So here's my take on 'em. Unlike Nigella and the WaPo crew, I don't add feta, and I do add carrot for colour. The photo is from the fritter session at the beach house (rented); in my real life I'd be cooking them in a cast iron skillet, not a steel one.

Zucchini Fritters

Zucchini Fritters

2 medium zucchini (or yellow summer squash), grated
1 tbs coarse kosher salt
1 medium carrot, grated
1 small red onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup flour
1 egg
1 tsp ground black pepper (or to taste)
1 tbs chopped flat-leaf parsley

Combine the zucchini with the salt in a colander and set aside. After 10 minutes, roll the zucchini in a clean kitchen towel and wring to extract the moisture. The volume of the shredded squash should decrease by about half.

Combine the squash with the remaining ingredients in a large bowl, mixing thoroughly. If you have time, cover and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight. (It's my personal opinion that letting the flour hydrate makes a tastier fritter, but letting the batter rest overnight is probably not a necessary step).

When ready to cook, heat several tablespoons olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Stir the batter well and drop it a tablespoon at a time into the hot oil, flattening each spoonful out to form about a 3-inch patty. Cook for about 3 minutes on each side, until golden brown and crispy at the edges, then slide into a warm oven to keep while you finish making the rest.

makes 12 fritters

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