We survived hurricane Irene with zucchini in all forms…well, zucchini bread and zucchini fritters. On Friday night, well before the hurricane reached us in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, Nathan and I were in the garden harvesting a bunch of zucchini, tomatoes and cucumbers (yes, they keep coming!). I also did a better job of tying up my tomato plants—I hadn’t realized how gangly they’d become and just how many tomatoes I have yet to enjoy this summer and fall. (Yeah!!!) The plum variety I’m growing is very productive. I can’t put my hands on the variety just now (did I really throw out those empty seed packets?!) but it’s Johnny’s Seeds’ replacement for San Marzano; those are the ones I usually grow.
Anyway, back to the zucchini. On Saturday morning while Nathan ate his first breakfast, I got to work baking his second breakfast—a recipe for zucchini bread that turns two cups of grated zucchini into two golden loaves of deliciousness. The recipe was given to me by a friend, so before I post it I need to figure out where it came from. I’m not interested in being sued by Ms. Crocker, thankyouverymuch. It’s very good, although a little oily for my taste. (It takes a whole cup of vegetable oil!) Maybe I’ll just develop my own recipe someday instead.
Then we had zucchini and herb fritters for lunch. Oh. My. God. I remember thinking that fried zucchini, recipe here, was my favorite way to make zucchini, but I was dead wrong. Clearly I’d forgotten how ridiculously good these things are! This recipe takes two medium-sized zucchini, a few eggs, breadcrumbs and whatever herbs you have growing in your garden and turns them into the best damn thing you’ve ever tasted. And I’m including expensively delicious cuts of meat and crab legs when I say that. Just look at them!
Fritters reheat well after a stay in the fridge, and I imagine they can be eaten cold. And since I made all of these zucchini treats under the guise of hurricane preparedness, this was a bonus. They freeze and reheat well, too. Hurricane update is after recipe.
Without further ado, the recipe:
Zucchini and Herb Fritters
Serves 3-4 very hungry people, 4+ moderately hungry people
2 medium-sized zucchini, grated (about 2 pounds)
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
1 clove garlic, crushed
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil for frying
chives, about 1 tablespoons, snipped
basil, about 2 tablespoons, chopped
mint, about 1 teaspoon, minced
Notes: You can use larger quantities of herbs if you have a less finicky husband than I. Also, you can omit the mint if your husband is finicky, like mine. It’s important to fry these in olive oil (rather than a spray, like Pam) in order to get the edges crispy and the bonus flavor it imparts. This is a great recipe for zucchini that you’ve let get a little too large (oops!) and seedy—just grate the outsides and not the seedy center.
Grate the zucchini and spread it out on a clean tea towel; press between two tea towels to get out some of the moisture.
Mix the rest of the ingredients and fresh herbs in a large bowl to form a dry batter. Add zucchini to batter and mix well—you’ll have to really get in there with your hands to get an even consistency. You want a thick batter that holds together well.
Heat a small amount of olive oil in a large pan on medium-high. Place quarter-cup scoops of batter into the hot oil and press them down slightly for uniform thickness and cooking time. Brown on one side, flip and repeat. Make sure they’re cooked in the center—they’ll still be moist inside thanks to the moisture in the zucchini. You’ll probably need to add more oil to the pan in between batches. And you just may have to test one or two while you’re cooking them!
P.S. – I’m surprised and happy that we made it through the storm unscathed—we barely had any hurricane damage here. Our power was only out for about an hour or two, and we had one tree come down that was already half dead, so no big loss. However, many people nearby experienced terrible flooding and will be without electricity until Wednesday. My thoughts are with them as they piece their lives back together.
Here are some pictures of local flooding in my area, taken by the newspaper.
Here are some photos taken by my friend Sara in my home state, New Jersey. She walked all the way up to the Raritan River, which flooded onto Route 206 and just about everywhere else around it.
These amazing photos from all around the East coast caught my eye, too.