When Life Hands You Zucchini, Make Fritters

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When vegetables are at their peak they’re cheap, scrumptious and abundant, which means that now is a great time to get creative about adding more veggies to your plate.

Here are a few ideas to get you started, along with a recipe for knock-out Zucchini Fritters:

Zucchini and Summer Squash

  • Slow cook slices of zucchini in olive oil with garlic, chile flakes, lemon zest and a squeeze of lemon at the end for a sort of zucchini jam that’s great on crostini, or tucked into chicken breasts.
  • Stir a few cups of grated zucchini into a soup or sauce as a flavorful thickener.
  • Slice a variety of squashes lengthwise on a mandolin, arrange on a platter, drizzle with vinaigrette and sprinkle with herbs and shaved pecorino.

Eggplant

  • Roast whole Italian eggplant and use the flesh in a dip, as the base for a pasta sauce, or even as a stuffing for ravioli.
  • Slow-cook chopped Asian eggplant with garlic, ginger, spices and sugar for an Indian-style marmalade.
  • Grill slices to keep in the fridge for using on sandwiches or adding to salads.

Tomatoes

  • Slow roast plum tomatoes, then freeze in a single layer and transfer to a freezer bag for what I call “tomato candy” all winter long.
  • Chop a variety of heirloom tomatoes and cook over medium heat with onions, garlic, oregano and a drizzle of olive oil for a simple, flavorful (and thinner-than-usual) pasta sauce. Can for keeping if you like.
  • Try taking your favorite tomato dishes into new realms—tuck a Greek salad into pita for a sandwich, or transform your BLT into a main-dish salad.

Sure, we all want to eat more veggies, and there’s no better time than now. This week, expand your boundaries and take advantage of the bumper bounty in new ways.

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Zucchini Fritters

These Greek-inspired fritters make great hors d’oeuvres or a light dinner served with tzatziki.

zucchini-fritters-recipe

1/2 cup water
1/2 cup medium bulgur
1 pound zucchini (about 2 medium zucchini), grated and spun dry in a salad spinner
1 egg
1/4 cup grated onion, strained
4 cloves garlic, grated
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3/4 cup coarse bread crumbs
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Bring water to a boil in a small saucepan and add bulgur. Cover, turn off heat and let sit for 20 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
In a large bowl, mix together bulgur, zucchini, egg, onion, garlic, parsley, cayenne, bread crumbs and salt and pepper.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and swirl in 2 tablespoons oil. When hot, spoon 1/4 cup mounds of batter into the pan, leaving room in between each so that air can circulate. Flatten slightly with a spatula and cook for 4-6 minutes, until well browned. Flip, flatten gently again, and continue cooking for another 4-6 minutes.

Remove fritters to a plate lined with a paper towel and repeat once more with remaining oil and batter.

Sprinkle with additional sea salt if desired.

Serves 6-8