Zucchini. I’m convinced that you either love it or you hate it. As a child, I definitely fell into the “hate it” category. Maybe it’s the fact that it gets mushy when you saute it. Or maybe it was all those hours turning the crank on the food mill to create “zucchini relish” for my mom. I’m still not a fan of zucchini bread, muffins or brownies. (Yes, I can taste the zucchini. No, I don’t want green things in my brownies.)
Then, a couple of summers ago, something wonderful happened. One of our friends made zucchini pancakes for dinner. (Yes, I was completely weirded out by this. I trust Josiah’s taste in food though, so I gave them a try.) And wouldn’t you know it, they were good. (Side note: I think this is similar to my childhood and teenage aversion to squash and sweet potatoes, which are usually overly sweet. Keep the veggies simple and savory, people!)
Good thing I changed my mind, since we’ve received several zucchini in our CSA share. Aside from grilling a few pieces, they’ve all been fritterized.
1 pound (about 2 medium) zucchini
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 scallions, thinly sliced (feel free to substitute onions if your scallions have unexpectedly turned slimy)
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 tablespoons finely shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
salt and coarse ground black pepper to taste
Olive oil, for frying
Using a box grater (or a food processor, if you’d like to avoid shredding off the tip of your finger…), shred the zucchini into coarse strips. Place the zucchini in a large bowl and toss with salt. Set zucchini aside for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine the egg, scallions, pepper, garlic and cheese in a bowl. Preheat oven to 200 and place a cookie sheet in the oven.
Scoop the zucchini on to a thin, dry, clean (Get one out of the drawer. Do not use the one that has been hanging on the dishwasher for 3 days!) dish towel. Roll up the towel and wring the extra water out of the zucchini. (Do this over the sink, obviously.) Alternatively, you could put it in a colander and press the zucchini against the sides to extract water. I think I get more out with the towel method.
Place the zucchini back into the bowl and stir in the egg mixture. Once the egg has been stirred in, put the flour and baking powder in the bowl. Mix until just combined.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, drop large tablespoons of zucchini batter in the pan. Flatten slightly with the back of a spatula. Cook until the bottom is golden brown (about 4 minutes), then flip and cook until the other side is golden brown.
Remove cooked fritters from the pan and place on the cookie sheet in oven. Repeat the process with the remaining zucchini batter.
Serve with sour cream for dipping.*
*See Smitten Kitchen’s original post for other topping ideas. Andy forgoes the sour cream (no shock to those who know him!), and I eat them either way.
Barely adapted from Smitten Kitchen