Subtitle: The One That Got Away
It’s that time of year when everybody who has a garden has a zucchini that’s too big for its britches. I call squashes like this “the ones that got away (from me)”. What do you do with them?
Some people make relish. I don’t care for it, myself. Too sweet. (If anyone has a sour, dilled zucchini relish recipe, please pass it along!) Some people make pickles. I haven’t tried that because I’ve tried making pickles with Armenian cucumbers, and they were mushy. I can only imagine what zucchini pickles would be like. Yuck. Some people, including me, shred the monster squashes and freeze the shreds for zucchini breads and soups. And I use the shreds for another dish, my favorite way to eat zucchini: zucchini latkes. These are paleo, gluten-free, low carb. What’s not to like?
Now, there’s been a recipe floating around Facebook for Zucchini Fritters. They look a lot like these, and the recipe is similar, except for one thing. There is no flour in these. And because there is no flour, they are not doughy. They are nicely browned on the outside and tender on the inside, but with no doughy texture. And I have to give credit where credit is due: I would never have come up with these if my friend, DeAnna Beachley, had not taught me to make potato latkes exactly the same way. And I thought, if it works for potatoes, why wouldn’t it work for zucchini? It does.
And try them with the dill sauce. Yum.
About 3 cups shredded/grated zucchini
¼ cup shredded/grated onion
1 egg, beaten
Salt and pepper
Olive oil or other oil of your choice for frying
After grating or shredding the zucchini and onion (either by hand or in the food processor), put it in a strainer for a little while to drain. Then dump the contents of the strainer into several paper towels or a clean tea towel you don’t mind staining green, and squeeze it like you mean it. Squeeze as much water as possible out of the zucchini and onion.
Dump the squeezed zucchini and onion into a bowl, fluff it with a fork, and add as much egg as you need to make the mixture hold together. Don’t add too much egg, or the latke will not hold together when you fry it. In the photo below, I have about a cup of zucchini and yellow squash shreds, and into that I mixed one of my little chicken eggs (very small), and it was just perfect. For 3 cups of shreds, one large egg should be just right, but mix it in a little at a time until all the shreds are moistened in the egg, but no egg is pooling in the bottom of the bowl.
Drop by spoonfuls into hot oil. Flatten with back of spoon. Fry until golden brown and latke is holding together, then flip. I find using both a pancake turner and a silicone spatula makes turning the latkes easier.
After the second side is brown, remove from hot oil and place on rack; sprinkle with salt and pepper. (If you put your rack over a cookie sheet in a warm oven, your latkes will stay crisper and warm.)
Do not salt the latkes before frying or as they are frying. Salt causes zucchini to release more moisture. You can add the pepper whenever you like, but always salt them right after they come out of the frying pan. These lovely little patties are scrumptious served with the dill sauce below, made with either plain Greek yogurt or sour cream.
Yogurt or Sour Cream Dill Sauce
Mix 1 teaspoon fresh chopped dill weed or 1 teaspoon dried dill weed into ½ cup dairy sour cream or plain Greek yogurt. (You can make your own yogurt and sour cream.) A little minced red onion, up to a tablespoon, is good too. I also like to grate a little lemon peel into the sauce sometimes, and if you use commercial sour cream, some fresh squeezed lemon juice will loosen it to sauce consistency.
If you have monster zucchini in your garden, consider freezing some for zucchini latkes this winter. To use frozen zucchini, simply thaw, drain, squeeze, and proceed as above.