Honoring the Zucchini
It’s that time of year again when the garden begins to produce in earnest. In the midst of that magnificent bounty, I’m afraid that zucchini sometimes gets a bad rap. Stories abound about bags of squash being left in unlocked cars or on doorsteps. Nationwide, zucchini festivals feature newly crowned Zucchini Queens and Kings and games of zucchini toss. I’ve even seen tongue-in-cheek recipes for what to do with this prolific squash like Zucchini Stuffed with Girl Scout cookies!
If you are lucky enough to have an ample garden, you may find yourself with a plethora of this green, summer fruit (yes, zucchini is technically a fruit). To that I say “bring it on!” Zucchini is incredibly versatile and can be featured across the menu from appetizers all the way through to dessert. I adore this squash grilled, pureed, cooked in soups, shredded in salads, and baked in cakes. If your culinary experiments have not yet included zucchini, now’s the time. I’ll wager that you won’t be disappointed.
- 2 to 3 zucchinis (approximately 1 ½ pounds), grated
- 1 large or 2 small eggs
- 2 ears of corn, cooked
- ⅓ cup onion, finely diced (you can also substitute sliced scallions or garlic scapes),
- ¼ cup chopped dill
- 4 ounces feta cheese
- ⅓ cup cornmeal
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- salt and pepper, taste
- sunflower oil
- cornmeal, cornstarch, salt and pepper
- Cook ears of corn. Let cool and then cut corn off the ears. Set aside. (Note: When I have corn, I often cook a few extra ears and then freeze the cut kernels for later use.)
- Grate zucchini and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of salt. Place in colander and let rest for about 10 minutes. (The salt draws the moisture out of the squash.) Next, use your hands to squeeze/press as much extra juice out of the grated squash as possible. Discard juice or save for future soup stock.
- Place grated squash in bowl. Add egg(s).
- Dice onion. Chop dill. Add both to zucchini mixture along with corn kernels.
- Crumble feta and add.
- Sprinkle mixture with cornmeal and cornstarch and add salt and pepper, to taste.
- Place a heavy skillet over medium heat. Add a tablespoon or so of sunflower oil. When hot, plop spoonfuls of zucchini batter into the hot pan and cook until the first side is browned and crispy. Flip and cook the second side. Repeat, adding additional oil to the pan, until all the batter is used up. Makes 10 – 12 fritters, depending on size.
- Serve with either a simple Asian dipping sauce (3 tablespoons of rice vinegar, tablespoon soy sauce, 1 ½ teaspoon sugar, small amount of red pepper flakes) or a dollop of yogurt/sour cream/crème fraiche.