the zucchini problem

I remember when I was little my parents would grumble about the amount of zucchini that wildly multiplied in our garden. Our zucchini was extremely difficult to pawn off to friends, because it seemed that everyone who had a garden—and most people we knew did had an abundance of the stuff. You see, the green torpedo-shaped veggies multiply easily and are hard to kill off. It’s the type of ubiquitous squash that keeps on producing, and comes back as a volunteer plant next year, whether you intend to have it in your garden or not. Let’s just say we ate a lot of zucchini during the months of August and September, when squash season is at its peak in the Pacific Northwest. 

Growing up I never thought much of zucchini. I could take it or leave it. Then, about 10 years ago I ran across a zucchini fritter recipe in one of my cookbooks. The recipe piqued my interest and I tried it.  The recipe changed my indifference toward zucchini. Now, years later, I find it ironic that I seek out and pay money for a vegetable that, as a child, was a garden castaway.

Even if you don’t have a strong opinion about zucchini, I think this recipe will help you form a love for this often misunderstood member of the squash family. Now if only I could hit the rewind button and magically gain access to all that zucchini in the garden of my childhood.

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My kitchen notes:

I’m a huge fan of dill, so I aways up the amount from the original recipe.

I pan fry instead of submerging in oil like a traditional fritter.

It works really well accompanied with a tzatziki yogurt dip. If you don’t want to make your own from scratch, Trader Joe’s has a decent pre-made one.

Zucchini Fritters

1 pound zucchini (about 2 medium), coarsely grated

Salt

8 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

6 green onions, minced

1/2 cup fresh dill, chopped

1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped

3 eggs, lightly beaten

1 cup flour

Salt and ground pepper to taste

Enough vegetable oil to coat a skillet.

1. Grate the zucchini with a box style cheese grater. Place grated zucchini in a colander, salt it lightly and toss to mix. Let stand for 30 minutes to draw out the excess moisture. Squeeze the zucchini with your hands and place in a bowl.

2. To the bowl, add feta cheese, green onions, dill, parsley, lightly beaten eggs, salt and pepper. Stir to mix well.

3. Add flour and stir until fully incorporated.

4. In a large skillet, heat vegetable oil over medium heat. When the pan is hot, drop spoonfuls of the batter into the skillet. I like to form patties that are about 5 inches in diameter.

5. Pan fry, until nicely browned, about 2-3 minutes on each side. Using a slotted spatula, transfer to a paper towel to drain.

6. Serve hot accompanied with tzatziki, or eat plain.

 

 

 

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