Okay, I have to ask a question here. Have any of you heard zucchini referred to as ‘zukes? Perhaps this is a central Pennsylvania colloquialism? Growing up, we had a ridiculous amount of zucchini in our garden, which were commonly known around our small rural town as ‘zukes. In fact, they were so abundant, neighbors would randomly drop off bags of them on front porches just to get rid of the things. I think we got more than one of our own zukes back by the end of the summer. It was a (strange) vicious cycle.
The start of this summer’s zucchini onslaught is just beginning so I thought it time to start peppering the blog with some handy “use up the ‘zukes” recipes. I think meeting the zucchini abundance challenge is a lot like weeding… if you keep up with it regularly, it’s not so overwhelming in the end. A zucchini dish once a week keeps the grocery bagfuls away.
At the farm, we’re growing a funky variety called “Eight Ball”, which does look surprisingly like a billard ball. Look for smaller ones than the one pictured above. This variety reaches a certain size where the proportion between flesh and seeds starts to tip in the wrong direction, taking on traits similar to pumpkins with their stringy nucleus. But if you get them “eight ball” sized, they’re firm texture is perfect for zucchini scallion fritters or any other concoction you can come up with to use up those pesky ‘zukes.
While I’d had this recipe clipped for awhile, I was inspired by Elsie at Simply Food to give these a go after seeing her pictures. The fritters were the perfect accompainment to the Caramelized Leeks…Pasta.
ZUCCHINI SCALLION FRITTERS
Adapted from Everyday Food
2 medium zucchinis
1 t. salt
3 scallions, finely chopped
1/2 c. flour or bread crumbs
1/2 c. grated parmesan cheese
1/2 t. cayenne pepper
3/4 c. vegetable oil
1 c. plain yogurt
1 garlic clove
salt and pepper
Wash and grate zucchini. Place in colander and sprinkle with teaspoon of salt. Toss to incorporate salt and let stand in a bowl or the sink for 15 minutes to release liquid.
Meanwhile, whisk egg in a medium bowl and get your other ingredients ready. Peel and mash garlic clove and sprinkle with salt. Using a wide knife, drag the knife across the garlic and salt several times to make a paste. Once the paste is smooth, mix with the plain yogurt and set aside.
Return to the zucchini and squeeze to remove any remaining liquid. Pat dry in a paper towel before placing in bowl with the egg. Mix egg and zucchini. Add the flour or bread crumbs and parmesan cheese and cayenne pepper. Mix well and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Place 1/4 c. vegetable oil into large skillet and heat over medium high heat. When oil is good and hot, place spoonfuls of batter into skillet and flatten down a bit. Fritters should be about 3 inches around and 1/2 inch thick. Do not crowd the skillet or you’ll have a hard time flipping. Brown fritters on each side (about 3-5 minutes), turning with a wide spatula, and place on paper towel to drain when done. Add more oil to the skillet as needed to fry up the entire batch.
Serve immediately with a generous dollop of garlic yogurt.
(serves 5-6 as a side dish)