When we are having family over to eat in the summer time, Crispy Zucchini Fritters are the number one thing that they request. I’ve been making them for years, so it’s not surprising that people wondered why I hadn’t ever put the recipe on my blog. I finally got it on the old blog a couple years ago, and now I’m told I need to put on this one too, lest I keel over at an early age, and it be lost to all humankind, forever. We can’t have that.
Making these takes me back to the years when the girls were little, and our garden was small. Though the garden was small, the amount of zucchini it produced was not. Larry and I love zucchini, so eating it every day was not a problem for us, and Ellyn liked it well enough that she didn’t complain. Lauren, our younger daughter, on the other hand, despised zucchini. She was a plan-ahead kind of girl, and insisted I tell her what we were having for dinner in the morning. In the summer she always had suspicions about her nemesis landing on her plate come dinner time. She usually finally wheedled the menu out of me at some point, so she could either cradle the anticipation of a well-loved meal all day, or fret, agonize over and try to talk me out of, making something she didn’t like. All. day. long.
She dreaded the thought of eating zucchini for dinner the way that delinquent tax payers dread their appointment with the IRS. Death row prisoners look to the future with more optimism than Lauren did on a zucchini day. She was a “dead zucchini-eater, walking” right up until dinner time, passionately bemoaning the injustice of her upcoming fate. Her dramatic stylings were definitely the inspiration for these fritters, because I was determined to find a way to prepare zucchini that she would like and we all know that anything that you fry in oil and then dip in sour cream is hard to hate. Once we convinced her that she would not die from a single bite, she actually loved them, and even though she has decided in her adult years that eating zucchini is not the universe-destroying activity she once feared it was, she still likes these the best.
The reason it took me so long to get them on the blog is not because I didn’t want to share the recipe, but rather that there never really was a recipe – you grate up the squash, and add other stuff until it looks and smells right, and then you shallow fry them in oil. So, though I did finally do a few batches with my measuring cups at the ready, so that I could verify workable amounts, I still make them for us by the “looks and smells right” method. And once you make these by the recipe a time or two, I’m willing to bet you will just go for it yourself. You have to be fearless when it comes to fritters.They aren’t difficult to make, but you do have plan ahead a little – here is how we like them best:
- About 1 pound of roughly grated zucchini
- 1 small onion, grated
- 1-2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 2 eggs, beaten
- ⅓ cup all purpose flour
- ⅓ cup cornmeal
- ⅓ cup dry breadcrumbs
- 1 teaspoon salt
- about 10 grinds black pepper
- 2-3 tablespoon finely chopped fresh herbs [basil, oregano & parsley are our favorites]
- about 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
- vegetable oil for frying
- Combine the zucchini, onion, garlic and eggs.
- Thoroughly mix in the flour, cornmeal, bread crumbs, salt and pepper, and herbs. Stir in enough buttermilk to achieve a fairly thick batter – a bit thicker than a pancake batter.
- Let this mixture sit for about 30 minutes, and if liquid separates out at all, stir in a couple more tablespoons of flour.
- Add the baking powder and sesame seeds, and allow to rest for another 5 minutes.
- Heat ½ inch of vegetable oil in a 12 to 14 inch wide saute pan.
- When the oil is hot, use a large spoon to carefully lower about ¼ cup ofthe batter into the pan, and spread it out slightly. It should begin to sizzle at the edges immediately.
- In my big 14 inch pan, I can do 4 at a time – make sure they aren’t touching.
- Fry for 3 minutes, until they are well browned on the bottom, and you should be able to easily turn them with a pair of tongs – if not, let them cook another minute, and then turn.
- Fry on the other side until crispy and deep golden brown.
- Remove to clean newspaper, or paper towels to drain, sprinkle lightly with coarse salt.
- Repeat until all of the batter is used up. You may need to add a bit more oil before you are done.
- Serve immediately with sour cream for dipping.
I suppose you could find something fancy to use as a dipping sauce, but it’s really not necessary – good old humble sour cream is perfect.In fact, everything about them is perfect – enjoy!