Zucchini Fritters

The challenge with zucchini at this time of year, I find, is how to wrangle overgrown clubs of squash into something that you actually want to eat.  With all due respect to the lovely Mollie Katzen (to whom much respect is due), this is not the season for stuffed “Zuccanoes.”My answer to the annual giant zucchini quandary usually involves my food processor.  Grating zucchini is therapeutic, first off; literally cutting the squash down to size shows it who’s boss and lets it see that you are not intimidated.  And once you have tired of grilled and raw and steamed and sauteed zucchini, grating it lets you incorporate it less-conspicuously into other things.  Like these fritters.

These emerald little bites are basically just zucchini, held together with flour and eggs, spiced up with my usual favorite combination of herbs and feta.  They’re more pancake-y than crispy, which is nice because you don’t have to rush to serve them; in fact, they’re good at room temperature.  You could serve them as an appetizer or side dish, I imagine, but we usually make a meal of them.  And I assume it goes without saying that you should have the leftovers for breakfast with a poached egg on top.

Zucchini Fritters (adapted from Nigella Lawson): Grate a pound and a half of zucchini (about 4 medium) into a large bowl.  Use a lint-free towel to dry the zucchini a bit.  Add all of the following: half a chopped onion (or a handful of chopped green onions), half a pound of crumbled feta cheese, a small bunch each of finely-chopped parsley and mint, 1 Tbsp. dried mint, 1 tsp. paprika, 1 c. flour, 3 beaten eggs, and a few generous pinches of each salt and pepper.  Mix all ingredients until well combined.  Lightly oil a well-seasoned skillet or griddle and warm it to a moderate temperature.  Scoop batter onto skillet and spread into circles about 1/2″ thick or a little thinner.  Bake until golden on both sides, about 2 minutes per side.  Serve with plenty of lime wedges (our usual) or that amazing cilantro yogurt sauce.

p.s. My very best trick when I’m enjoying dire zucchini overload is to grate and freeze the zucs in 2-cup portions to use in zucchini bread all winter long (just defrost it and add it to the batter, liquid and all).   What’s your best zucchini-management tip?


30 thoughts on “Zucchini Fritters

  1. Heidi @ lightlycrunchy

    I do the same with the 2 cup batches of frozen zucchini. I also use grated zucchini in meatloaf, chili, etc. and sometimes will just cook large batches of hamburger with zucchini, onion, carrot and green pepper and freeze it in smaller amounts as quick meal starters. The zucchini stretches the hamburger a little bit and adds in some extra vegetables that my kids don’t know about.

  2. musingmar

    We all need tips on what do do with zucchini! The fritters sound tasty and your platter of them looks delicious. Freezing shredded zucchini is a great idea!

    1. emmycooks Post author

      Conor, that is an outstanding-looking vegetarian dish! Now I’m sorry that I already cooked up this week’s eggplant from my CSA box. Thanks for the eggplant inspiration!

  3. lwooten

    Great post- just what I needed! We came home from vacation to find zucchini baseball bats in our garden! I like to make raw zucchini hummus in the Vitamix. Throw in several cups of cubed zucchini, then add a good dose of tahini, lemon juice, pinch of sea salt, drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, and maybe some smoked paprika, basil or other summer herbs. I am always amazed at how good this is and you don’t need to cook the zucchini!

  4. An Unrefined Vegan

    I like how we both referred to zukes as clubs…I’m quite glad to see this recipe as there is only so much zucchini bread one can make and consume in a summer, right? I think I can tweak it to make it vegan. Oh, and grate, er great idea to freeze the stuff!

    1. annafinkenzeller@yahoo.com

      How would you make it vegan? Please share. I NEED to eat these (allergic to eggs).
      thanks, anna

    2. emmycooks Post author

      I supposed there is a limit to how much zucchini bread one can make and eat–but “making cake” is a great preservation method too! And I’ve found that zucchini bread freezes quite well. :)

    1. emmycooks Post author

      I don’t get tired of it either, but I think that’s because I can’t harvest it at a rate of 5 or more lbs. per day. :) People in other climates are the lucky overloaded ones! :)

  5. Little Sis

    I am NOT a huge zucchini fan, and so grating is absolutely my favorite zucchini management strategy. I can put it in almost anything in this form and enjoy it. This looks delightful, and as soon as Annie tweaks it, I’ll copy her. ;-)

    1. emmycooks Post author

      I love it. I found a good-looking (tofu-based) zucchini fritter recipe in Veganomicon. Isn’t it amazing how grated zucchini all but disappears into whatever you make? It’s a good way to sneak in another veggie. :)

  6. Eileen

    Zucchini management is tough. Besides only planting one vine (crucial!), I think it’s best to vary 1. cooking techniques 2. texture and 3. taste or seasoning. So I’d maybe make omelets filled with garlic-sauteed zucchini, then raw zucchini noodles with pesto, then zucchini bread, then throw some in a pureed veg soup. I’m also a proponent of just cubing it up and adding it to practically any vegetable-based anything I’m making–they hide pretty well. These fritters sound like a perfect idea!

    1. slywlf

      Wow – I found this post because (naturally) I was researching creative ways to use up an unexpected bounty. The fritters idea drew me in, partly because they can be frozen for later. I will be making them tomorrow – probably served with fresh aioli. But the idea of raw zucchini noodles with pesto just stopped me in my tracks – yum! That is part of dinner tonight ;-)

  7. Allison

    Ha, you are so right– grating zucchini IS therapeutic! And I love your tip about freezing it in the perfect size to make zucchini bread all year long; thank you!

  8. Pingback: Zucchini Fritters, with Manchego, Rosemary, and Thyme « Hot, Cheap & Easy

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