7.30.2009

Baked Zucchini Fritters with Feta & Herbs



With all the cooking I do, I am very proud of my edible-to-disaster ratio. Meaning that, 98% of the time I can save a meal which is taking a turn for the worse. Maybe it needs a bit of salt, maybe a spin under the broiler—whatever it is, I can usually I can fix it and go on my merry way. But Zucchini! Ugh zucchini! Zucchini has been torturing me for years now, with all it’s delicious crunchy fries and fritters. Like eggplant, zucchini has a huge amount of water in it which needs to be removed if you want any sort of crunch. Which is easier said than done.



Last year, I attempted making fritters, but when I went to form them into patties, they were very wet. So I added more flour. Add then some more flour. And, oh right, some more flour. And when they were all done they tasted like, hmm…flour. Strange, I know. A few weeks ago, I set my sights on zucchini fries and while delicious in their garlicky-parmesan goodness, they were FAR from crunchy.



But since I refuse to surrender to the zucchini, I decided to try again. I mean really, how many meals could I possibly ruin in one month? I must have crunchy zucchini! And look, I did! I have photos to prove it! Now, with all my less than crunchy attempts, I have learned two things. (A) don’t add more flour to your patties, unless you really like the taste of flour. And (B) press the heck out of that zucchini until it can be pressed no more. And oh, ya, it will still be wet. It taunts me like that. (Seriously, if anyone can tell me how to make CRUNCHY zucchini fries, you will hold a special place in my heart).



Baked Zucchini Fritters with Feta & Herbs
adapted from Nigella Lawson . serves 2 as a main course

4 medium zucchini
1 c feta cheese, crumbled (large pieces broken up with fork)
5 scallions, finely chopped
3 T finely chopped fresh mint (plus additional for garnish)
2 T finely chopped fresh cilantro (or parsley)
1 c all-purpose flour
1 t salt
1/2 t pepper
1/2 t cayenne pepper
2 limes, sliced into wedges



Preheat oven to 400F. In a food processor (or with a hand grater), coarsely grate the zucchini. Transfer to an absorbent towel, spread into a thin layer, and let sit for 10 minutes. With another towel, press firmly to remove excess water. Let sit for 10 minutes (transferring to an additional towel, if needed). Again, press firmly with a towel, to remove excess water.

In a large bowl, combine feta, scallions, mint, cilantro, flour, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper. Add in shredded zucchini, and stir until well combined. With hands, form into 12-15 patties (mixture will be wet), and place on a well-greased baking sheet. Bake for 45-60 minutes, flipping every 15 minutes, until the edges are brown and crunchy (or longer depending on size/texture of patties). Serve with lime wedges and fresh mint leaves.

18 comments:

Sarah said...

this is the most delicious looking recipe! i can't wait to make it!!! i love your blog, btw ... :)

Rachel said...

Mmmmm...I love zucchini fritters but I've never attempted to make them. Putting them on the list.
We're drowning in zucchini too, and I made fries yesterday. Nothing will make them crunchy on the inside (or so I tell myself) but I at least got a beautifully crispy exterior that satisfied my crunch needs.

Tartelette said...

Just got a load of zucchini from neighbors and these are perfect to use some up! Makes me hungry already!

Dana said...

Your perseverance is impressive. I would have given up three times ago! Those look lovely.

Darrell Family said...

These look so good! Can't wait to try them! As for getting the water out, have you tried sprinking the cut zucchini with salt and putting it between some paper towels then puttin a cook book or something with some weight on top to press them?? If not, give it a try! Works great for eggplant! You might have to let it sit for a while (30 minutes or so) and you may have to change out the towels depending on how wet they get. Thanks for all the great ideas. Your cucumber dill salad has become a staple around her the past few weeks!
Jen

melinda said...

oh yum! i can't wait to make this, i have much zucchini laying around my house.

Jennifer said...

I love that you baked these fritters!!! I make something similar for my husband but he only likes fried. I'll sneak this one on him :)

fresh365 said...

Hi Jen- I have tried to salt and put under heavy pans, but perhaps I need to leave them longer. I think I am too impatient!

Amanda Nicole said...

So, these look amazing! Eggplant is my personal food foil. But I am enticed to conquer the zucchini now ;)

alisa said...

ooooh zucchini is SO tricky! it's like, how much water can there possibly be in those not-so-large veggies?! LOTS!!! these look amazing, though, so good job<3

Sprouted Kitchen said...

they look crunchy to me! there is something about the word 'fritter' that makes me feel like I'm at a fair. Nice work on making them healthy!

Aran said...

just got a bunch of zucchini too and this is a great idea!

Cooking With Dia said...

That zucchini looks amazing. Great post and wonderful photography!

eatme_delicious said...

Haha yaey for finding crunchy zucchini!! =) These look delicious.

Miggy said...

Hey I just tried these...failure.

They're completely stuck to the pan....so when I try and scrape them off the bottom crunchy layer is on the cookie sheet and the soggy middle is left on the pan.

Any suggestions?

Miggy said...

I hope that didn't sound like I was blaming you for my failure... I'm sure it was something I did, but I was just bummed thus the sour disposition.

fresh365 said...

No problem Miggy. I have had my fair share of problems with zucchini lately! This usually happens to me when I try to fry things. My thought is perhaps your baking pan sticks. I have a great pan, which I never need to grease, but I will add this to the preparation in case others have the same situation. I hope you will try again and conquer the zucchini!

Smarry said...

I would have given up three times ago! Those look lovely.

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Smarry
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