I wasn’t planning on making zucchini fritters for dinner the other night, but I was hungry and had just put in some potatoes to bake while I played in the kitchen with Isobel. I was just going to make a salad for the easiest dinner ever (baked potatoes with salad + a protein – typically hardboiled eggs or beans in the salad), and I noticed I happened to have a combination of ingredients that would make some really good fritters.
Typically a fritter is a fried food, a deep-fried food, and coated in batter. These zucchini fritters are shallow fried in a thin layer of oil, and the batter is incorporated into the patty. I have had unfortunate experiences with zucchini in the past so I’m rarely excited to eat it. But these were good. Really good. And easy enough to put together after a long day.
To make a zucchini fritter, you just need to start with a few ingredients:
The Basic Zucchini Fritter Ingredients
- 1 medium zucchini, grated
- ½ – 1 cup Panko crumbs
- 1 egg, beaten
- 3 tbs olive oil
Please don’t stop there, though, because even adding one more ingredient makes a dramatic difference:
Extras & Add-Ins
- 2-3 tbs jack cheese
- ½ scallion, sliced thin
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 handful chopped parsley
- 1 tbs lemon zest
- 1 tbs chives
- Fresh or dried thyme
- curry powder (thanks, Cameron!)
This time I added the jack cheese, parsley, and scallion, but lemon or garlic would be so, so awesome. Parmesan cheese, gouda, fontina—all of these would make lovely additions. The problem with adding cheese, however, is that they will be more likely to stick to the pan during frying. Next time I plan to add the cheese in the middle of the patty in an attempt to prevent this. I’m not sure it will work, though. (Also I think that playing around with the temperature might help.)
1. Grate zucchini using a box grater, food processor, or flat cheese grater. I used the flat cheese grater because that was handy. Dragging out the food processor for just this step was not going to happen on a weeknight.
2. Toss your shredded zucchini into a bowl and add all the ingredients, basic and extra, that you plan to use (with the exception, perhaps, of the cheese, as noted above). Mix well.
3. Add a few tablespoons of olive oil to the pan and swirl it around. You want to use a flavorful oil because it will impart its taste to the fritters, so I’d recommend against canola. (Unless you love canola oil! More power to you.) Heat the pan to medium.
4. While the pan heats, form patties from about 2 tbs of the mixture. They’ll be a bit crumbly—that is their nature.
5. Cook the fritters over medium heat for a few minutes on each side. Cook in batches, replenishing oil when necessary. When done, drain on a paper towel.
6. Serve with a dab of sour cream, a sprinkling of lemon juice, sriracha or ketchup, if that’s your bag. They are also good on their own, and taste great warm or at room temperature. (Probably cold, too, but I didn’t have any leftovers.)