Zucchini Fritters

by Caterina Borg, Good Food Gourmet on April 26, 2010

zucchini fritters, www.goodfoodgourmet.comIn my humble opinion, zucchini is such an underrated vegetable. At home, my family used them all the time in a few different ways. We would stuff them with meat and rice and cook them in a tomato sauce (when making yemista), or my dad would cut them in half lengthwise and fill them with meat and then top them with a bechamel sauce and cheese, and when we only had a few leftover, mum would make the best zucchini fritters.

There are a few secrets to making great zucchini fritters, and one trick is to squeeze out the water from the shredded zucchini using a cheese cloth. I like to squeeze out the liquid into a separate bowl, and then add some back if I need to along with the other ingredients to create a thick batter. I just whisk my eggs together together and then add them to the rest of the ingredients, but my aunt separates her eggs and whips the whites separately, then folds them in — if you have a little extra time, this is definitely the way to go because the final product is even fluffier. The other little secret is that these cook fairly quickly, so make sure that you are frying them on low to moderate heat — they should be golden brown and not too dark or they will be over cooked and dry.  They are perfectly delicious by themselves with the added lemon zest and all of the other fragrant ingredients in the batter, but serve them with  a lemony homemade mayo with some added fresh parsley and either finely diced dill pickles or capers, and you have created the perfect harmony for this delicious side dish.

Zucchini Fritters (makes about 16 medium fritters)
4 cups packed shredded zucchini
2 eggs
1 cup finely grated graviera cheese (can use kefalotiri, parmesan or asiago)
2 cups ground ritz crackers (use breadcrumbs or ground saltines if you prefer)
1 Tablespoon dry parsley
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
zest of 2 lemons
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pepper to taste  (start with 1/4 teaspoon)
Grapeseed or vegetable oil for frying

Finely shred the zucchini and measure it out into cups. Make sure to pack it down to get the right amount.

zucchini fritters, www.goodfoodgourmet.com

Take a  piece of cheesecloth, add the zucchini in the center, tie it up and ring out all of the water into a side bowl– do this in 2 batches. Too much liquid is your enemy when making fritters. You want them to be moist, but not so moist that the whole fritter falls apart in the frying process. Reserve the liquid and add some back if you need to once all of the other ingredients have been incorporated.

 zucchini fritters, www.goodfoodgourmet.com

Add the squeezed out zucchini to a medium sized bowl along with all of the other ingredients except the eggs. Whip the eggs separately and then add this to the zucchini mixture. If the batter is too thick, add a little of the zucchini water, a little oil or another yolk to thin it out.  I usually add some zucchini liquid because I don’t like to add too many eggs — it can make the interior dry and rubbery. You will probably be OK with the amount of salt because of the ritz crackers and the cheese, but you may want to add just a little as they come out of the hot oil.

zucchini fritters, www.goodfoodgourmet.com

This is the texture of the batter that you want…

zucchini fritters, www.goodfoodgourmet.com

I like to use a 2 oz scoop to put the batter into the hot oil, and then I use a spoon to flatten them out slightly so they cook all the way through. Heat a skillet with an inch of oil to low or moderate heat, or the fritter will burn — this is very important.

zucchini fritters, www.goodfoodgourmet.com

zucchini fritters, www.goodfoodgourmet.com

They cook very quickly, so only place a few in the oil at a time. Remember, you need to have enough room to flip them over.

zucchini fritters, www.goodfoodgourmet.com

Remove from the oil and place them onto a platter with paper towels or on a cooling rack inserted in a sheet pan. They will be perfectly crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside. Lightly salt and serve warm or room temperature.

zucchini fritters, www.goodfoodgourmet.com

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

avatar Caterina April 28, 2010 at 11:06 p

I am so glad to hear that you enjoy it! Continue to follow us through the coming months (and years!) because we will be offering great information on everything relating to food…Look forward to hearing from you again!

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