This is just one of several ways I’ve been trying to use up our plentiful harvest of zucchini. And by plentiful I mean the first crop was 20 pounds!! Second crop was 14 pounds and I haven’t even picked the third round yet!
We had a little extra room left in our garden and I thought to myself, “why not?”, and so I planted a few extra zucchini plants. So here’s the thing, “why not” is perfectly fine as long as you’re prepared to deal with the consequences of enough zucchini to feed your village. Was I prepared? Well, let’s just say I’ve been hard at work finding clever ways to use the stuff!
And so I’ve been putting it to use making various kinds of zucchini bread, soups, fritters, AND I even prided myself on the creation of a grand deception: I peeled the skin off so there’d be no flecks of green and pureed the zucchini to make an “Alfredo sauce” for my kids’ pasta. There they were, my 3 and 5 year olds scooping up and devouring this zucchini sauce…and they had no clue! It was brilliant!
For those of you who grow zucchini or just like to cook with it, what do you do with all of it? I still have more coming and am looking for ideas!
The key to getting these Italian Zucchini Fritters good and crispy is to get as much of the moisture out as possible. Otherwise they’ll be mushy. And I don’t know about you, but mushy zucchini is about the last thing I’m in the mood for.
But if they’re nice and crispy, I’ll gladly take several!
To do that you put the shredded zucchini in a bowl and toss it with salt. That will draw the liquid out of the zucchini.
After about 30 minutes you’ll see just how much water those zukes pack in ’em! You now want to thoroughly rinse and drain the shredded zucchini in a colander.
Next wring it out as best as you can. Probably the most effective way is to put it in a clean dish towel and squeeze the bejeezers out of it. Just keep squeezing and wringing, wringing and squeezing until it’s as dry as you can get it.
I call these “Italian” zucchini fritters because they not only use Parmesan cheese but also a variety of fresh Italian herbs. Nothing beats fresh herbs. Nothing. You can use whatever you have on hand. I grabbed some parsley, rosemary, oregano and basil from my garden.
Add the chopped herbs to the mixture along with the garlic, onion and eggs. Stir it to combine.
Next stir in the flour, Parmesan and spices.
You’ll end up with a very moist – but not sopping wet – mixture.
Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and add the oil. Once hot drop about 3 heaping tablespoons’ worth of batter per fritter into the skillet and fry on both sides until nicely browned. Place the fried fritters on a paper towels to drain.
Serve immediately while the fritters are still crisp. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and a little sprig of fresh parsley or other herb for garnish.
- 2 pounds zucchini, washed and grated and tossed in a bowl with 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
- ⅓ cup finely chopped yellow onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian herbs (basil, rosemary, oregano, etc)
- ⅓ cup unbleached all-purpose flour (GF: use gluten-free all-purpose flour)
- ⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Oil for frying
- Let the grated zucchini tossed with the salt sit for about 30 minutes, then thoroughly wring out as much liquid as you possibly can (key for achieving crispy fritters). One method is to place the grated zucchini in a clean dish towel and wring out the liquid that way.
- Stir in the eggs, onions, garlic and herbs. Then stir in the flour, Parmesan and spices.
- Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot drop about 3 heaping tablespoons of batter per fritter in the skillet and fry on both sides until nicely browned. Place the fried fritters on paper towels to drain. Serve immediately while crispy. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and a sprig of fresh herb for garnish.