There’s something comforting and satisfying about biting into a soft, warm pillow of fried dough. Whether it’s homemade doughnuts, pancakes, latkes or fritters, there’s no mistaking it, we all love fried food in some shape or form.
Today’s recipe is actually Greek in origin, although I’m sure there are variations of this fritter in other cultures too. Zucchini fritters, known in Greek as kolokithokeftedes (how’s that for a long word) basically translates to kolokithi (zucchini) and keftedes (burgers/patties). In Greece, these savoury morsels are served as appetizers and can be made with a variety of add-in’s like fresh dill or feta cheese.
The zucchini fritters I’m featuring in this post have grated grana padano cheese (a salty, hard Italian cheese similar to parmesan) and lemon zest, which I believe adds both a salty and a citrus-y zing to the fritter. I’ve also added some leeks in my recipe because I had some lingering in the fridge and I wanted to use them up, plus I love the sweetness that cooked leeks adds to food.
These fritters are really mouth-watering and can be served as a patty in a hamburger bun, with a side salad or as an appetizer. I think the hardest part is grating the zucchini. The easiest part is eating the fritters. Believe me, you will want more than one. My husband and I ate 4 fritters each so this recipe yielded 8 fritters in total.
savoury zucchini fritters (makes approx. 8 fritters) adapted from Radishes & Rhubarb
2 cups zucchini, grated
1 leek, white part only, finely chopped
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup grated Grana Padano
zest of 1/2 a lemon
1/4 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg (optional)
salt and pepper to taste (optional)
oil for shallow frying (I used safflower but sunflower or canola works perfectly)
1) Turn on burner to medium. Heat oil in a cast iron skillet or a shallow frying pan.
2) Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly to create a thick batter. Let stand for 5 minutes while oil is warming up.
3) Using a ladle, drop small batches of the batter into the hot oil. You will have to determine how big or small you want your fritters to be. I usually make them around the size of a standard hamburger. I can fit 3 fritters in my frying pan.
4) If your oil it too hot you may need to lower the temperature. You don’t want to brown your fritters too quickly. Let each fritter fry for 2 minutes on each side before flipping. Be careful when flipping as the oil will splatter and it is HOT. I also use a spoon and a spatula to carefully turn over the fritters and coax them back into the oil. The fritters are ready to remove from the oil when they develop a golden brown colour and crispy exterior.
4) Place hot fritters onto a plate lined with paper towel(s) to absorb the excess oil.
5) Serve warm with ketchup, yoghurt, tzatziki or just have them plain.
Tip: To wipe away all the oil splatter from your stop top and work area, I suggest using white vinegar straight up. It works like a charm to cut through all that grease plus the smell (which I love) may also have you craving fish & chips! Not a bad thing, really.