Here in Okinawa, eating seasonally and locally is sometimes a necessity. I’m glad because it makes less of a carbon footprint. However, it can be frustrating because the American in me wants everything available all the time, flown from all over the world so I can have it now. That is difficult here because the produce that is brought here has already been in transit for some time and can get bad quickly. Buying locally grown food increases the longevity of my produce so if I can’t make it today, it won’t be a big moldy mess.
So anyway, zucchini is now in season and all over the place. I bought some awhile back and made Buckwheat Blueberry Zucchini Bread but thought that this time, I should explore the savory side of zucchini. I haven’t made fritters too many times but the addition of baking soda makes these puff up just a bit. The airiness along with the outer crunch makes these the perfect light dish. If you are feeding more than a couple people, think about doubling the recipe.
On a sidenote, we are talking to the person who decides where we call home next. We won’t know for awhile and I don’t want to jinx things but suffice it to say I’m pretty excited!!! Okinawa is great but there is nothing like home.
- 1½ pounds (about 3 medium) zucchini
- 1 ½ teaspoon coarse or Kosher salt, plus extra to taste
- ¼ cup scallion
- ¼ cup cilantro
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- ¼ cup finely ground reduced fat cheddar cheese
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- Freshly ground pepper
- Olive or another oil of your choice, for frying
- 1 ripe avocado
- 2 Tablespoons reduced fat sour cream
- 1 ½ teaspoons lime juice
- 2 Tablespoons very finely chopped cilantro
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- Pinch of salt
- Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Grease a cookie sheet.
- Trim ends off zucchini and grate them either on the large holes of a box grater.
- In a large bowl, toss zucchini with 1½ teaspoons coarse salt and set aside for 10 minutes. Wring out the zucchini by squeezing out small handfuls wrapping it up in a clean dishtowel or piece of cheesecloth and wringing away. Keep going if you keep getting more moisture.
- Place zucchini in medium bowl, taste and add more salt if you think it’s needed as most is removed with the wringing. Stir in scallions, cilantro, egg and some freshly ground black pepper. In a small bowl, stir together flour and baking powder, then stir the mixture into the zucchini batter.
- In a large heavy skillet preferably cast iron heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Drop fritters onto skillet a few at a time and flatten slightly. Cook for 3-4 minutes until golden and flip. Cook for 2-3 minutes on the other side.
- Drain briefly on paper towels then transfer to baking sheet and then into the warm oven until needed. Leaving them in the over for several minutes helps crisp them up a bit.
- Repeat process, keeping the pan well-oiled, with remaining batter.
- Mix all ingredients for avocado crema in a small bowl. Serve fritters with a dollop of fritter and finely chopped cilantro on top.