Frittelle di Zucchine

Zucchini Fritters

If one can do everything else with zucchini, why not fritters? What I especially like about these fritters is their texture: The vegetable is shredded along its length, producing fine zucchini filaments that cook quickly yet maintain their firmness. Aside from the zucchini themselves, the fritter batter consists of garlic, parsley, Parmesan, egg, and bread crumbs, a composition clearly familiar to Italian cooks.

The fritters are fine on their own, but they are even lovelier with a sauce of fresh tomatoes, onion, and butter, as indicated below.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound zucchini, as young, small, and fresh as possible, soaked in water for 20 minutes
  • 3 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon garlic chopped extremely fine
  • ½ cup freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano (Parmesan)
  • 3 eggs, not too large
  • ¼ cup fine, dry, unflavored bread crumbs, plus 1 cup spread on a plate
  • Black pepper in a grinder
  • Vegetable oil
  • Salt

Method

  1. When the zucchini have soaked the recommended amount of time, drain the zucchini and wash them in several changes of cold water, rubbing their skin with your hands or with a stiff brush to dislodge all grit. Trim away both ends from each zucchini and, using a grater or food processor disk with large shredding holes, shred them lengthwise.
  2. Put the shredded zucchini in a bowl with the parsley, garlic, and grated cheese.
  3. Beat the eggs in a small bowl and add them to the zucchini. Add the ¼ cup of bread crumbs, a few grindings of pepper, and mix thoroughly.
  4. In a skillet or sauté pan put enough vegetable oil to come at least ½ inch up the side of the pan. Turn on the heat to medium high.
  5. When the oil is hot, add salt to the zucchini, mix quickly, and form flat patties about 3 inches in diameter and ½ inch thick. Dredge the patties in the bread crumbs on the plate, and slip them into the pan. Cook, turning them over, until they have formed a crust on both sides. Transfer them to a plate lined with paper towels or to a draining rack to blot. Do not fry more patties at one time than will fit loosely in the pan. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.

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