'Tis the season for zucchini! It's everywhere and in abundance, and I know few people who aren't trying to come up with ways to use all theirs up! These fritters are not only a clever use for zucchini, but they also taste wonderful. The addition of rice flour gives them an extra crispy texture, but you can substitute wheat flour if you don't have any on hand. These make a delicious accompaniment to Tabouleh salad (or any other type of Middle Eastern-style salad) and eaten with any other type of vegetable or mezze dish, they are filling enough to make a meal.
This recipe was adapted from Greg and Lucy Malouf's cookbook, Saha. My version is a little more heavy on the batter (maybe it's an American thing, but I like a truly crispy pancake rather than a just-enough-flour-to-barely-hold-things-together kind of recipe. It makes them far less fussy to work with!). Their version also calls for plenty of fresh and dried mint, but I felt that the mint flavor was really hard to taste in the final result, so I made a lovely minted yoghurt to spread liberally on top of each fritter. The results are just marvelous!
Zucchini & Feta Fritters with Mint Yoghurt
2 cups shredded zucchini (about 2-3 medium zucchini)
2 fresh eggs
1 small yellow onion, grated
1 garlic clove, minced
1/3 cup brown rice flour
1/3 cup white flour
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1 T fresh dill, chopped
1/4 cup peanut oil, for frying
1 cup strained yoghurt (I used 0% Fage brand)
1 T olive oil
1/4 cup fresh mint, finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste
First, place the grated zucchini in a strainer or colander, sprinkle with salt, and drain for about 30 minutes. Using a dish towel or paper towels, gently squeeze the zucchini as dry as you can get it.
Meanwhile, make your yoghurt. Mix all the ingredients together in a small bowl (reserving a sprig of mint for garnish, if desired). Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
Get your frying pan ready. Add the peanut oil and heat over medium (you want to be able to fry the fritters as soon as the batter is assembled. Otherwise, the zucchini will begin to seep liquid and the batter will become runny). Add the eggs to a medium-sized bowl and whisk to combine. Add zucchini, onion and garlic and continue to beat until eggs increase in volume, slightly (just a minute or so). Add flours, feta and dill and stir well with a wooden spoon.
Wet your hands with cool water and form fritters. Take about 1/4 cup of batter and shape into a patty in your hand. Carefully drop into the hot oil and pat down the center so the fritter is flat (use a spatula to do this if you are nervous about spattering oil). Fry each side until golden-brown, about 2 minutes per side. Allow to drain on paper towels and sprinkle with a little finishing salt while still hot. Serve immediately with yoghurt on the side.