Saturday, July 23, 2011

Zucchini fritters

In summer I use a lot of zucchini in different ways. Thin slices grilled being my most favorite. Fritters is a very common used of zucchini. I have tried to make it healthy by baking them instead of pan frying. You could pan fry them as well (as we know fat adds flavor). I have also added some fresh thyme and pine nuts for a more lemony flavor and some crunch.

In Turkey zucchini is used in a frittata and served with a garlicky yogurt sauce. I have borrowed their idea and added feta to the basic yogurt sauce.


Zucchini fritters with a yogurt feta sauce

1 1/2 lb zucchini (I used half yellow and half green)
2 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, finely minced
4 scallions finely minced (both white and green parts)
2 large cloves of garlic finely minced
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoon of olive oil
2 teaspoon kosher salt
3 - 4 tablespoon rice flour or plain flour
1/4 cup pine nuts

1. Preheat the oven to 425 F. Preheat a 9 x 13 inch baking sheet as well.

2. Grate the zucchini using a food processor or through the large holes of the box grater. Place in a colander with a container below to catch the liquid released by the zucchini. Add 1 teaspoon kosher salt to the grated zucchini which will help to leach out the excess moisture from the zucchini. Keep aside for an hour.

3. When the oven is ready and the baking sheet is heated, squeeze the water out of the zucchini by placing the grated zucchini in a cheesecloth or clean kitchen towel and twisting the same. Remove from the cheesecloth and place in a mixing bowl. Add the minced thyme, minced garlic, and black pepper. Add the rice flour a tablespoon at a time and mix till the mixture reaches a consistency that allows you to make patties. Taste the mixture and adjust the seasoning and finally add the baking powder. Make the patties immediately, otherwise the zucchini will start to release more moisture. You should be able to make about  9 to 10, 2 inch patties with this mixture.

4. Use a small ice-cream scoop to measure out the mixture so that you get evenly sized patties. Flatten them slightly and place on the preheated baking sheet. (Before you place the patties, add 1 tablespoon olive oil to the baking sheet). Place the baking sheet in the middle rack of the oven and bake for 15 minutes. The first side should be brown - flip to the other side. Add one more tablespoon of olive oil and continue to cook for 15 more minutes till both sides are golden brown. Serve hot with the yogurt feta sauce.

Makes 10 fritters

Yogurt Feta sauce
2 tablespoon Greek feta cheese, crumbled
3 tablespoon low fat Greek yogurt
2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 - 2 tablespoon lemon juice (depending on how tangy you want the sauce to be)
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Blend all of the above ingredients to form a sauce.

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