Zucchini seem to have a reputation for being the “weed” of the garden. I’ve never understood why; there are so many ways it can be used! Besides the obvious stir-fries and grilling it, zucchini adds a nice moistness in cakes and breads. My favorite way to use zucchini has to be in a fritter, however.
Zucchini fritters are quick and can be so versatile. Just a few changes and it has a variety of flavor profiles. Changes in seasonings, adding other veggies, varying the cheeses; all make the fritters a great side dish to a meal.
For the last few years I have looked forward to zucchini season with my shredder in hand. In about 5 quick minutes I have the batter all ready, the skillet heated, and we are on our way to having fritters to go along with whatever we’re grilling that evening.
I’ve made a variety of dipping sauces to accompany the fritters, our latest being a homemade form of thousand island dressing. In the past I’ve simply added chopped or dried dill to sour cream or greek yogurt, or mixed up a honey mustard sauce another time. It’s pretty versatile, you could even dip it in ketchup or seafood sauce in a pinch.
My version of thousand island dressing can be found here, where I first made it for a BLT appetizer for a party. It has simple ingredients most of us usually have on hand in the fridge. I more often use plain yogurt; you could use Greek yogurt or mayonnaise and the flavor is almost the same. I mix it and it’s ready for dipping in minutes.
I start by preheating the oven to 300°F to keep the fritters warm until I have fried them all to a golden brown. I set my flat griddle pan on the burner and turn it on to medium to heat.
After shredding the zucchini, mixing the batter is quick. The recipe calls for 2 eggs and a cup of flour. I modified those measurements from another recipe I tried because I didn’t like a dry and chewy fritter. These fritters end up a little crisp, but still nice and moist in the middle due to the egg and not leaching out the water from the zucchini with salt in a strainer ahead of time. That was too much work and made a boring, crunchy lump to chew on.
I used chopped fresh parsley for this recipe because I had it on hand. Dried parsley has worked just as well for me, if you need to substitute. I put the measurements in the recipe for both ways.
To the zucchini and parsley I add all of the ingredients minus the flour, stirring until they are well blended. Then I add the flour and again stir until blended. It gets a little rough stirring, but you need a little patience there.
Sometimes I do a test fritter to check for salt but I’ve gotten to the point where I know I like just ½ teaspoon of salt in the batter, and don’t do a test one. Salt to taste.
I place about 2 tablespoons of batter in circles all over my griddle. I can usually fit about 10 at one time on my flat griddle pan, so I only need to fry two batches. The recipe makes about 20 fritters. When the fritter is brown on both sides I put it into a ovenproof dish or plate and slide it into the oven to stay warm.
The recipe is small enough that we eat almost the entire recipe at one meal. One of my guilty pleasures is to eat them leftover, cold, the next day. They could be reheated in the microwave, but even cold they’re very flavorful. It’s one of the few times I wish we had more leftovers.
At times I’ve added shredded summer squash (which I think of as yellow zucchini) or chopped green onions to the fritters. Shredded carrots were a nice touch once as well; they stay a little firmer due to the fairly short cooking time so it’s more of a crunch to the fritter when they’re included. Another time I even added corn that I had leftover from grilling, cutting it off the cob and throwing it into the batter. That was excellent too!
It’s a basic recipe, simple and quick, that has the potential to change with whatever you have on hand. I’ve thought it might be interesting to use shredded cheddar to see how that works out, but haven’t remember to try it yet. I’ll do an update if that works out well.
2 cup zucchini; shredded
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon oregano
½ teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1 teaspoon pepper
Sprinkle of cayenne
1/4 cup parmesan or asiago cheese; grated (I used asiago)
¼ cup fresh parsley; chopped (or 2 tablespoons dried parsley)
1 cup flour
oil; for frying
Shred zucchini and place in mixing bowl. Add all ingredients except flour into a bowl and stir to mix.. Add flour and mix thoroughly.
Heat oven to 300°F.
Heat large skillet or griddle and drizzle with a tablespoon of oil. Test fry one fritter until done. Taste test and salt rest of mixture based on personal preference.
Drop batter two tablespoons at a time in circles onto hot skillet and cook slowly on medium heat, turning when golden brown on first side. Brown on second side and remove to an ovenproof dish and keep warm in oven.
Serve with dill spiced sour cream, tzatziki, or homemade thousand island dressing.