The end is in sight my friends, the end is in sight. No, I haven't been on some massive mountainous trek (though that sounds like fun!). My news is more ground level: I'm down to my final 2 zucchini. Woo hoo! For the last couple of months I've been somewhat overwhelmed by the plethora of yellow squash creeping along my vegetable garden floor. This is the first year the zucchini seeds have actually done anything, and I blame it all on that manure I lovingly spread across the garden way back in May. The garden rocked this year, plain and simple. Never before have I grown vegetables with such success - goes to show that the health of your garden really does depend on the health of your soil. Plus the weather in Saskatoon was absolutely perfect - lovely, hot, sunny days, with not a lot of rain. Dragging the hose around the yard was no fun, but I like to think I burned a million calories while doing so.
If you've been reading me regularly, and are aware of my squash "issues", you know I've stuffed it and grilled it; eaten it roasted and raw. There was a week in early September where I was eating zucchini every day...and tempted to put them into neighbour's mailboxes. Yes, there was a squash-palooza at my place this Summer, and I'm happy to report it's finally winding down.
My friend Chelsey texted me a couple of weeks ago, just to say hey, and to let me know she made the most amazing zucchini fritters. Hello! Chelse and I have been friends since the days of big hair and bigger glasses; since the dawn of cassette singles and stirrup pants; since the days of "Twin Peaks" and gorging on Ritz crackers with barbecue sauce. Chelse was clearly reading my mind when she sent that text. Further follow up resulted in her giving me the recipe, which she acquired from a lovely British food mag called 'Olive'.
Looking at it online, I'm thinking I may just have to get a subscription...
So about the fritters. They were freaking amazing. The batter is quite simple - coarsely grated zucchini, with some eggs, flour, diced onion and hot pepper. I added a little lemon zest just to brighten the flavour, and a good shake of coarse salt. Next time - and yes, there will be a next time - I would add some fresh herbs to the mix - like cilantro, parsley or basil. The fritters were like how fritters should be: crispy good on the outside and tender on the inside. The fresh salsa (Yay! I get to use up some tomatoes sitting on my counter too!) was the perfect accompaniment - and really, there's never a bad time for feta cheese, is there? I only had yellow zucchini, so I had to purchase some green from the market, just to add more pop of colour in my photos. You can imagine how ridiculous I felt buying zucchini! Oh well. Just two more to go, and I think I'll just grate them up too, for something deep, dark and decadent. Stay tuned for that.
Zucchini Fritters with Fresh Tomato and Feta Salsa
1 hot pepper, finely diced (use any variety you like, just remember to seed it if you don't want it too spicy, and wear rubber gloves while handling!)
1/2 red onion, finely diced
zest of 1 lemon
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp coarse salt (more for sprinkling after)
1 tsp baking powder
3 medium zucchini, coarsely grated, juice squeezed out (about 2 cups, packed)
canola oil for frying
In a large bowl, combine the pepper, onion, lemon zest, spices, eggs. Stir well. Add the flour, stirring to moisten, then add the grated zucchini, stirring until all combined. Heat oil, about 1/2 inch deep in a large skillet, dropping the batter by heaping spoonfuls. Spread out a little to make round. Fry on each side, about 3 minutes over medium high heat, until golden. Sprinkle with salt, heap with your fresh salsa. Makes about 8 fritters.
Combine in a bowl:
Fresh tomatoes, diced
red onion, diced
fresh herbs like mint, cilantro or basil
squeeze of honey
squeeze of a lime
drizzle of olive oil
salt, pepper, dash of hot sauce
diced feta cheese
Season it as you like!