Zucchini & Parmesan Fritters with Lemon Zest

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It’s finally happening.  A few of my vegetables from my garden are ready to be picked!  Yesterday I picked my first zucchini.  (This is my first year vegetable gardening so everything seems really exciting!  haha).  My kids aren’t huge zucchini fans, and to be honest, it’s not my favourite vegetable either.  Don’t get me wrong, I like zucchini.  But I could certainly live without it.  I find it a little boring.  So I decided to come up with a fun recipe that the whole family will really enjoy!  My kids will eat just about anything if it comes with a dip (:

This would also be a great recipe to serve as an appetizer if you’re having guests over.  Tonight I will be serving my zucchini and parmesan fritters with a garlic, dill and lemon yogurt dip.

INGREDIENTS (makes 8 large fritters or 16 small ones)

  • 2 cups shredded zucchini (I use a cheese grater)
  • 1.5 Tbsp diced shallot
  • 1/2 tsp diced garlic
  • 1/4 cup green onion
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/8 cup chopped Italian parsley
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup – 1 cup flour + more for sprinkling while forming fritters
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable/canola oil (for frying)

METHOD

1 6.02.45 PM

 

Shred zucchini on cheese grater and place in colander.  Sprinkle with about a 1/2 tsp of salt to draw out excess liquid.  Let sit for about 30 minutes.

2 5.52.28 PM

Meanwhile, dice shallot, garlic, parsley and green onion.  Shred parmesan (if using a brick of cheese) and zest lemon.  Get flour and egg ready.  After half an hour or so, take zucchini in small batches and SQUEEZE out as much excess liquid as possible.  This is important because you don’t want watery fritters that require using lots of flour.  NOTE:  You should get nearly a full cup of liquid!  Save this liquid to cook rice, quinoa or other grains in for added nutrition!

3 5.53.04 PM

After I’ve squeezed the zucchini by hand, I wrap it all in paper towl to soak up the last bits of liquid.  Now mix all the ingredients together except the flour and egg.  If you’re making these within a few hours, go ahead and add the egg and flour as well.  If not, leave the egg and flour out until just before you plan on frying them so they don’t get ‘gummy’.

4 6.02.45 PM

Put flour on your hands so the mixture doesn’t stick to them and add flour to the fritters while you’re forming them, as needed.  Just enough so they don’t stick.  Place the fritters on parchment/wax paper until you’re ready to fry them.

5 6.02.45 PM

Add oil to pan and heat on medium high until the oil is hot enough that when you place the fritter in the pan it should make a sizzling sound and bubble.  You want the pan quite hot or the fritters will stick to the bottom and will get soggy instead of crispy.  NOTE: Always put the fritters in the pan so they drop facing away from you to avoid getting hot oil splattered on you.  DO NOT overcrowd the pan or the temperature of the oil will drop and the fritters won’t get crispy.  They’ll just be soggy.  Watch the fritters constantly to ensure they don’t burn.  Look underneath every minute with tongs to ensure they aren’t getting too dark.  If they are, reduce heat and flip.

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When they are golden brown on one side (2.5 – 3 minutes) flip them and continue cooking.  Reduce heat slightly (between 6 and 8)  if needed.  Remove from pan and place on paper towel to soak up any excess oil.  Sprinkle with salt and transfer to plate.  Serve with your favourite dip!

 

MONEY SAVING TIP:  You’ll probably have some left over oil.  DON’T THROW IT OUT!  Once oil has cooled, strain it and save it in a jar (I use saved pickle jars for this!).  Store in a dark, cool place and then you can reuse it for frying again and again (: