My wife and I like to eat a lot of vegetables. But when we are traveling, it isn’t always easy to find a variety of vegetables on the menu. Many restaurants don’t offer a lot of vegetable choices unless you happen to be in a vegetarian establishment. While in Greece, we noticed most places served fava (pureed legumes), salads, and zucchini fritters. I think that I had fritters at least six times while we were there.
Zucchini is one of those utilitarian vegetables for which I’m always seeking new recipes. I purchased a small Greek cookbook during my travels, but it didn’t have the zucchini fritter recipe. Once again, I went to the internet and did a search. I found today’s recipe on the New York Times cooking page.
Prep to improve texture
When cooking Zucchini in dishes like bread or fritters, it’s important to remove some of the moisture from the vegetable so you don’t end up with a squishy mess. You do this by processing (generally grating) your zucchini and sprinkling with salt to draw out the water. After about an hour, wrap handfuls of the zucchini in paper towels and give a light squeeze. The towel absorbs the water and the zucchini is ready for the batter.
As mother nature has turned down the thermostat, I will be switching gears a bit in the coming weeks to provide you with more warming and comfort foods. Soups, stews, and chili are always favorites at our house when the temperature drops outdoors. If there are any soups or stews you would like to see, please email me. iCook to feed the body and the spirit.
Greek Zucchini Fritters
Courtesy of Martha Rose Shulman and NYT Cooking
Yields 6 to 8
Total time 2 hours 30 minutes
- 2 LB zucchini, trimmed and grated on the wide holes of a grater or food processor
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup chopped mixed fresh herbs like fennel, dill, mint, and parsley
- 1 TBSP ground cumin
- 1 cup fresh or dry breadcrumbs, more if needed
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
- All-purpose flour as needed and for dredging
- Olive Oil for frying
Salt the zucchini generously and leave to drain in a colander for one hour, tossing and squeezing the zucchini from time to time. Take handfuls of zucchini and squeeze to remove water or wrap in a paper towel and squeeze.
In a large bowl, beat the eggs and add the shredded zucchini, herbs, cumin, bread crumbs, salt, pepper and feta. Mix together well. Take up a small handful of the mixture, if it presses together neatly into a patty, it is the correct consistency. If it seems wet, add more breadcrumbs or a few tablespoons of flour. When the mixture is the right consistency, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Heat 1 inch of olive oil in a large frying pan until rippling, or until it reaches 275 F. Meanwhile, take heaping tablespoons of the zucchini mixture and form into balls or patties. Lightly dredge in flour.
When the oil is very hot, add the patties in batches to the size of the pan. Fry until golden brown, turning once with a spider or slotted spoon. Remove from the oil and drain briefly on a rack or paper towel. Serve with plain Greek yogurt if desired.
Note: the mixture can be prepared up to one day ahead.
You can download the recipe of the week HERE!