The first zucchini have started to appear in Berkeley’s farmers market, though not in the diversity shown in the photo above (which I took last summer). One of my favorite ways to eat zucchini is as a herb-laced, cheese-studded fritter. The zucchini is grated, salted, rested, and then the moisture is squeezed. There are endless ways to flavor the fritters depending on your mood and what is on hand.
Give the fritters a try soon, or file the recipe away until zucchini season in your area.
Adapted from Chez Panisse Vegetables, by Alice Waters
12 ounces zucchini
2 t. salt
1 t. lemon zest (optional)
1 T. herbs of choice (parsley, thyme, oregano, basil, mint, cilantro, etc.)
1/2 c. cheese (crumbled feta, aged goat, sharp cheddar, fresh mozzarella, etc.)
1 T. rice or wheat flour
Pepper to taste
Grate the zucchini using a box grater or the grating attachment on a food processor. Toss with the salt and place in a colander to leech out some of the zucchini’s water. Place a plate on top of the salted zucchini to help the process. Allow it to sit for 30 minutes.
Rinse the zucchini, then squeeze out as much moisture as possible (a clean kitchen towel can be helpful for this).
Combine the zucchini with the remaining ingredients.
Heat a lightly oiled skillet or griddle over medium heat. When the cooking surface is ready, make fritters using a few tablespoons of the batter at a time (it’s just like making pancakes). Cook on one side until light brown, then flip and cook the other side.
Serve plain or with an appropriate accompaniment — try diced tomatoes with Italian herbs, a dollop of thick yogurt with Greek flavors, some tomatillo salsa with a cilantro-flavored fritter.
Random link from the archive: Oak Tree Galls