It’s late summer, and that time of year again where, despite losing some to the voles, we seem to have a persistent overabundance of garden-fresh summer squash.

Cocozelle, Black Raven, and Early Prolific Straight summer squash

After making batches of our favorite Zucchini Orange Bread numerous times this summer, we decided it was time to try something different.   Zucchini fritters!  After reading through a number of recipes, and multiple trials in the kitchen, these fritters have become a new summer favorite here, so we thought we should share.  If you’ve been struggling to convince friends and family to eat their share of summer squash this season, this recipe is sure to appeal to even the pickiest of eaters!

Zucchini fritter with fresh garden herbs, and feta cheese

Zucchini fritters can be served hot or at room temperature, as a vegetable side dish, or as the main focus of the meal.  In addition to using up extra summer squash, if you have chickens, they also help to use up a few extra eggs too!

Yield: 36 Small, or 12 Large Fritters.

Ingredients

1 lb Zucchini
1-1/2 Tsp Kosher Salt
1/2 Cup Chopped Scallions
1 Small Yellow Onion
1/2 Cup Fresh Dill, finely chopped
4 Tbsp Fresh Flat-leaf Italian Parsley, finely chopped
1/4 Cup Ricotta Cheese
1/2 Cup Feta Cheese, crumbled
4 Large Eggs, lightly beaten
1 Cup All-Purpose Flour
Fresh Ground Pepper
Olive Oil, for frying

Directions

Grate the zucchini, and set in a colander over the sink, or an empty bowl.

It's important to salt and drain the zucchini to remove excess moisture, or the batter will be soggy

Sprinkle the shredded zucchini with 1 teaspoon of Kosher salt, mix well, and allow the excess moisture to drain from the zucchini for 20-30 minutes.

Squeeze any remaining moisture from the zucchini, and place in a large bowl. Add the scallions, dill, and parsley, and mix thoroughly.

Fresh Dill

Grate the onion, squeeze the excess juice from it, and then add the onion to the zucchini mixture.

Stir in the ricotta and feta until evenly distributed, and add the remaining 1/2 tsp of Kosher salt, pepper to taste, eggs, and flour, mixing thoroughly.

This zucchini fritter batter is bursting with the aroma of fresh herbs

Place a saute pan over medium-high heat. Pour the olive oil into the pan to a depth of 1/4 inch, and once the oil is hot, and starts to shimmer, drop the batter in heaping tablespoonfuls (for small fritters), up to a scant 1/3 cup (for large fritters).  Don’t crowd the fritters in the pan, or they will be difficult to turn over.

It's important not to disturb the fritter for the first two minutes of cooking while the first side browns

Allow the fritters to cook, undisturbed, for two minutes on the first side, before attempting to turn them with a spatula.  Providing the oil is hot enough, and the first side is golden before turning, the fritters will not stick.

Turn the fritters to brown them on the other side for 2-3 minutes.  Drain the fritters on paper towels, and hold in a warm oven while cooking the remaining batter.

Zucchini Fritters

They really are that simple!  The fritters can be served alone, as a side, even as a burger substitute, or simply with a fresh garden salad, and are excellent served with fresh Tzatziki sauce (recipe follows).  If you find yourself inundated with summer squash this season, these fritters make for an easy, and enjoyable summer meal.  The shredded zucchini can even be frozen, to make fritters later in the year after the squash season is over.

Zucchini fritters, and garden fresh salad greens, make for a simple summer meal

Tzatziki Sauce

Ingredients

2-1/2 Cups Plain Greek Yogurt*
1 Medium Cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
1/2 Tsp Kosher Salt
1 Garlic Clove, minced
1 Tbsp Champagne (or White Wine) Vinegar
2 Tbsp Lemon juice,  fresh squeezed
1 Tsp Lemon Zest
Pinch Fresh Ground Pepper

This simple Tzatziki sauce has a fresh, clean, slightly citrus flavor

In a medium bowl, thoroughly mix the yogurt, salt, pepper, garlic, vinegar, lemon juice, and lemon zest.  Stir in the diced cucumber, and refrigerate for at least 30-60 minutes, before serving, to allow the flavors to blend.

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*If Greek yogurt isn’t available, substitute with 2 cups of plain yogurt mixed with 1/2 cup of sour cream.