Tender Zucchini Fritters with Green Goddess Dressing

 Susan Hannaby Susan Hanna

Here’s a delicious way to use the zucchini that is overtaking your garden. This recipe for zucchini fritters from the August 2010 issue of Bon Appetit suggests serving them as an appetizer, but I served them as the entrée for a vegetarian meal. They were absolutely delicious – in fact, I was sorry I halved the recipe, as we easily could have eaten many more of them!

 I’m always a little wary of making patties that are supposed to stay together when you fry them, but I had no trouble with these. I ended up with four patties instead of six, but you can make them any size you like.

Zucchini Fritters

 The grated zucchini has to drain for 30 minutes, so keep that in mind when working out your timing. The Green Goddess Dressing is also fantastic – I’ll be making it on a regular basis.

 Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

 To avoid additives and preservatives in this recipe, make homemade mayonnaise or use one without additives, such as Hellman’s (regular, not low-fat). Make sure the goat cheese has no preservatives or colour added and use an all-natural, microbrewery beer. For more recipes using all-natural ingredients, visit www.eyeforarecipe.ca.

 Ingredients:

 Dressing

  •  1 cup (250 ml) mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) chopped fresh dill
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) chopped fresh chives
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) chopped fresh tarragon
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) distilled white vinegar
  • 1 anchovy fillet, chopped

Fritters

  • 1 ½ pounds medium zucchini (680 g, about 5 or 6 zucchini), trimmed
  • 1 ½ teaspoons (7 ml) coarse kosher salt, divided
  • 6 ½ tablespoons (97.5 ml) all purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup beer (60 ml)
  • 1 4-ounce (113 g) package soft fresh goat cheese, coarsely crumbled, chilled (about 1 cup/250 ml)
  • 1/3 cup (75 ml) or more extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 ½ cups (875 ml) lightly packed mâche (lamb’s lettuce; 2 to 3 ounces/57 to 85 g)

Preparation:

 For dressing

Blend all ingredients in processor until smooth, occasionally scraping down sides of bowl. Season dressing with salt and pepper. Transfer to small bowl. Cover; chill. Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled.

 For fritters

  1. Using large holes on box grater, coarsely grate zucchini into large colander. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon (5 ml) coarse salt over and toss to coat evenly. Place colander over large bowl. Let zucchini stand 30 minutes, tossing occasionally. Press on zucchini to release as much liquid as possible. Empty zucchini into kitchen towel. Roll up to enclose and squeeze dry.
  2.  Whisk flour, baking powder, ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) pepper, and ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) coarse salt in medium bowl to blend. Mix in beer. Scrape zucchini from towel into bowl; stir to coat evenly (batter will be thick). Mix in cheese.
  3.  Heat 1/3 cup (75 ml) oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat until very hot, about 2 minutes. Working in batches, drop batter into skillet by ¼ cupfuls (60 ml), flattening to 3-inch rounds (2.54 cm). Sauté until brown and cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer fritters to rimmed baking sheet. Repeat with remaining batter, adding more oil as needed. Can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature. Rewarm in 375°F (190° C) oven 5 to 6 minutes.
  4. Place mâche in large bowl. Toss with 2 to 3 tablespoons (30 to 45 ml) dressing. Place 2 fritters on each of 6 plates. Top with mound of mâche salad. Serve fritters, passing remaining dressing alongside. Makes 12 fritters.

 From the August 2010 issue of Bon Appetit