feasting at home: Dilled Zucchini Fritters with Feta and Tzatziki

September 16, 2013

Dilled Zucchini Fritters with Feta and Tzatziki


If you are like me, you've probably come close to your fill of zucchini and summer squash for the season. As soon as we seem to get our pile down to manageable levels, like manna from heaven, more appear, descending upon our doorsteps- and lately, baffling, on the passenger seat of my car.




I have been doing my best around here to tuck it into soups, shave it into salads, and basically just get through it any way I can think of.  Most of the time we prepare it very simply- tossed with olive oil balsamic, salt and pepper and grilled- and if in the mood, I'll sprinkle a little za'atar spice on it to mix it up a bit. But how how many days in a row can you have grilled zucchini?


Crispy and flavorful, these fritters whip up fast and are my husbands's favorite way to eat zucchini. Anything made into a fritter, seems to be a big hit around here. Even our dog Maxx loves these little guys.  Yes, I confess we often do feed our dog people food. I know it's ridiculous, but we do. That being said, Maxx, the pickiest eater in the house, goes a little bonkers for these. And today as I made and photographed them, he was right there beside me, hovering, not begging, he doesn't beg -  but with a look that said, "You know you want to give me one of those- don't you?" and of course I do.



I like these fritters, because they are heavy on the zucchini and summer squash, and very light on the "batter".  They do not tasty eggy. And to make them even healthier, leave out the feta.

Some tips: When grating zucchini-if you have a grate attachment on your food processor, use it. It's fast and is the perfect size grate. If doing by hand, use the biggest grate size possible.

The second and most important tip to good zucchini fritters is to salt them. Salting them releases all the liquid, which you see here,  is quite a lot. It only requires a 10-15 minute period of salting, so not too long, and this is when I prep the other ingredients and the Tzatziki. If you don't get the liquid out, your fritters will be a sopping mess. So please don't skip this part.



In 10 minutes, look how much water has come out.


Make sure to rinse all the salt out, otherwise they may be too salty - by placing in a strainer and holding under the faucet for a 30 seconds, mixing a bit,  and then once rinsed well,  press as much of the rest of the water out.  Blot with paper towels. Get them dry.



Fresh scallions and fresh dill give the fritters good flavor.





Mix in the rest of the ingredients and you will end up with a dryer "batter", which will be full of good zucchini flavor and texture, and not taste too eggy.




Place ping-pong sized balls of the fritter batter in a hot skillet with olive oil and let sear until golden brown. About 3 minutes each side.



Then place the fritters on a parchment lined sheet pan or on a wire rack and to finish cooking all the way through in the oven- without letting them get too dark on the outside.


Make your Tzatziki.  If you are swimming in Zucchini, Tzatziki can also be made with zucchini instead of the traditional English cucumber.

Tzatziki, a Greek style yogurt sauce is a really refreshing and cool topping for the crispy warm fritters.










Pull the fritters out of the oven and serve warm. Leftovers can be stored in the fridge and reheated, uncovered in a toaster oven and surprisingly will get crispy again. Every time I make zucchini fritters, I often wish I would have made a double batch. They tend to go very quickly.



Plop a dollop of tzatziki on top- and serve with a salad. This can be a light dinner, or hearty lunch.
Or, to serve as a fun appetizer, make much smaller fritters ( 1 1/2  inch in diameter) and top with tzatziki and a fresh sprig of dill -and pierce a mini fork down through the top, for the perfect appetizer bite.










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Dilled Zucchini Fritters with Tzatziki




print recipe

Dilled Zucchini Fritters with Feta and Tzatziki
Greek style Crispy zucchini fritters topped with a dollop of Tzatziki
Ingredients:
Makes twelve - two inch fritters
  • 1 1/2 lbs small summer squash ( about 3-4 zucchini, patty pan, or yellow crook necks) 
  • 1/2 C chopped scallions 
  • 1/3 C chopped fresh dill 
  • 2 tsp salt -plus1/4 tsp 
  • 1/2 C crumbled feta
  • 1 egg 
  • 1/2 C all purpose flour (or rice flour)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder 
  • 1/4 tsp fresh nutmeg 
 Instructions:
Using a grater or food processor, grate the zucchini. You need about 4 Cups grated- and placed in a med-sized bowl. Sprinkle with 2 tsp kosher salt, stir well, and let sit for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. This will release the water. Place in a strainer, and rinse well and using your hand or a spatula, press down firmly to remove as much water as possible. Place on a few paper towels and blot the top with paper towels. You really want to get these fairly dry.

Preheat oven to 350F

Place back in a med bowl, adding dill, scallions, feta, nutmeg, 1/4 tsp salt, cracked pepper and one egg. Mix well.
In a separate bowl mix flour and baking soda together. Add flour mixture to zucchini, incorporating all. These will be a fairly dry batter.

In a heavy bottom skillet, heat 1-2 T olive oil over medium heat. When oil is hot, drop ping-pong sized balls of the batter. Brown each side until golden about 3 minutes each side, and place in a warm oven- either on a wire rack or on parchment lined sheet pan.
Make in batches, letting fritters finish at lease 10 minutes in the oven. Serve with a dollop of Tzatziki.

Tzatziki
Ingredients:

  • 1 C Greek whole milk yogurt
  • 1 C English cucumber finely diced ( or zucchini) 
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 T fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 T chopped fresh dill or mint
  • 1/4 tsp Kosher salt
  • freshly cracked black pepper
Instructions:
In a medium bowl, mix together all the ingredients. Chill.

Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 12 fritters

14 comments:

  1. This looks like a great recipe, light and healthy meal. I just have to try and bake it in the oven instead frying, which I do not do any more. Thanks for sharing, Sara

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  2. Love any kind of fritters and this is no exception, looks so good.

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  3. This looks yum, though I am not sure there are much zucchinis around these markets...

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  4. YUM, what a gorgeous meal - any time of the day.

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  5. Uaaau this is amazing:) Love it!

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  6. This is such a perfect recipe for me! We still have a bunch of zucchini and cucumbers. I love the addition of feta and dill in the fritters. Great recipe.

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  7. Sylvia, I always have to make things several hours before dinner when I have the time - how do I keep them crispy and crunchy until dinner? I made them last night for dinner and they were a huge hit!

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    Replies
    1. I wonder if you could made them ahead, refrigerated, then crisp them up again in the oven right before serving ?

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  8. we've had these twice in the last week and i'm making another bactch today... SOOO delish!

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  9. Pretty, simple and oh so tempting! Love this recipe -- and the photos, as usual, are super lovely. Thank you!

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  10. Learn something new everyday, I will now salt my zucchini, I used to just squeeze. Thank you so much for the lesson!

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