The Overlooked Vegetable: Zucchini

With August nearly here and my dad’s pristine vegetable gardens producing at a record high, we’ve been staring at a 10-Gallon bucket full of already harvested zucchini for the past week with lots more still growing in the garden. A fool proof way to prepare this sometimes overlooked vegetable is to simply sauté until cooked through in olive oil and season with salt and pepper. For those looking for a different way to enjoy zucchini, give this recipe for Zucchini Fritters from Cook’s Country a try. We’ve already dined on them three times in the past week since discovering the recipe. Served alongside grilled fish or meat as well as snacked on cold the next day, they are great at utilizing zucchini big and small all while using very simple ingredients. An added bonus, they are gluten-free. Try them with our Cucumber Yogurt Sauce for an even tastier dish.

Zucchini Fritters 

Makes 12 fritters

1 ½ pounds zucchini

1 ½ teaspoons salt

6 tablespoons cornstarch

6 ounces crumbled feta cheese*

1 large egg, beaten lightly

2 tablespoons minced fresh mint

2 tablespoons minced fresh dill

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon pepper

¼ cup vegetable oil

Grate the zucchini into a large bowl lined with a clean dish towel using the large holes on a box grater like this amazing one. Combine the grated zucchini with the salt and let sit for 10 minutes. Bringing the corners of the dishtowel together, form a ball out of the zucchini and squeeze out all liquid. Removing the zucchini from the towel, place it back in the bowl and add the cornstarch and mix until combined. Then add in feta, egg, mint, dill, garlic and pepper.

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Using a large non-stick skillet, heat 2 tablesspoons of oil and drop as many ¼ cup portions of batter into pan allowing for space between each fitter. Press down lightly on the fritter with a spatula to flatten. Over medium-high heat, cook until golden brown and then flip and do the same for the other side. Once done, let sit on a paper towel to collect excess oil. If you won’t be serving right away, place them in a warm oven on a cookie sheet to keep hot.

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*For those who experience lactose intolerance or dislike cheese, the fritters are just as tasty without the feta.

Cucumber Yogurt Sauce 

Makes 2 cups 

1 cup greek non-fat yogurt

2 medium cucumbers, peeled

2 garlic cloves, minced

3 tablespoons dill,  chopped

Juice of ½ a lemon

½ of a small red onion, chopped

Thinly slice one of the cucumbers and grate the other using the box grater. Combine prepared cucumbers, garlic, dill, lemon juice, and red onion in a bowl with the yogurt. Chill before serving.