My zucchini plant is a tricky devil. While I make at least a daily trip out to the garden this time of year to water, pull a few weeds and harvest some produce, I take an extra few minutes to check on the progress of this summer squash.
The zucchini plant is flourishing in the same place I successfully grew nearly a dozen butternut squash last summer. The leaves are enormous and the stalks are weaving in and out of each other from the base of the plant out. I’m constantly pushing them aside to get a look underneath the foliage, searching for zucchini ready to be plucked.
I usually grab at least one or two just in the perfect stage. About eight inches long, with a wilting flower on the end. Perfect for slicing up and tossing in a saute pan. I check the plant again to make sure I’ve harvested every ready-to-go courgette.
But I keep missing one.
And when I go back the next day, that forgotten deep green vegetable has grown to the size of a house. Well, that’s a bit of an exaggeration. But it’s incredible. Leave one of those elusive little suckers hooked up to the plant for just a day or two too long, and it’s expanded to resemble a kiddie wiffle ball bat. I kid you not.
Most foodie people will tell you to avoid large zucchini because they are bitter, filled with seeds and tough. But I am a child of the eighties with a Depression-era obsession with avoiding food waste. Therefore, I decided ignore the naysayers and use my club-like vegetable in the kitchen.
Recipes often stew in my head for a couple of days before I get to trying them out. And it usually takes just one ingredient inspiration for the potential dishes to start floating around my food-loving brain.
It hit me: Zucchini Corn Fritters.
I’ve made these twice now, once for my parents and again for a group of friends. They were wolfed down at both tables. I expect the same will happen at yours.
You can certainly use normal sized zucchini for this recipe, just grate as many as it takes to reach three cups. But know that this is an excellent way to make use of the overgrown vegetable that concealed itself beneath the leaves and catapulted itself into the 99th percentile for height and weight. It’s also so gratifying to snip off a variety-pack bunch of herbs and use them in a large quantity.
These fritters are a cross between a pancake and a traditional deep fried fritter. The vegetables are coated with a pancake batter and pan fried. I used a couple of pans on the stove the first time I made them, but much preferred my electric griddle during the second round. If you have one, bring it up from the basement, plug that puppy in and feel the sense of contentment that’s only achieved by actually using a small kitchen appliance that often sits in storage. Speaking of that feeling…it’s time to get out my panini maker soon.
Zucchini Corn Fritters with Herb Sour Cream
3 cups grated zucchini
1/2 cup grated onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
kernels of 3 ears of corn
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 tbsp butter
1 cup milk
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tbsp fresh parsley, minced and divided
2 tbsp chives, minced and divided
1 tbsp fresh dill, minced
Heat oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add zucchini, onion and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Saute, stirring often, until vegetables are tender, about five minutes. Turn off the heat and set aside to cool.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk egg and milk together. Add flour and baking powder and stir to combine, being careful not to overmix. Add zucchini mixture, corn and 1 tbsp of each the parsley and chives. Season with salt and pepper and fold mixture together.
Heat a griddle or nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Swipe a bit of butter over the cooking surface. Using a measuring cup, scoop about 1/2 cup of batter into mounds on the hot griddle. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until the edges of the fritter are opague and lift easily from the griddle. Continue cooking the fritters in batches.
In the meantime, add the dill along with the rest of the parsley and chives to the sour cream and mix together.
Serve fritters with a dollop of sour cream on top.