Turkish-style zucchini fritters fit to please purists

A single dish to dispatch several zucchini is a gardener’s dream come August.

Everyone’s got a go-to. Or two or three. Hopefully, at least as many as there are plants in the garden.

Mine happen to be quiche, mentioned in this blog’s previous post, and refrigerator pickles. I nominate the rest of my family for the zucchini muffins, quick breads and even cookies that my mother-in-law recently devised to trick my oldest son into eating his veggies.

Taking pains to disguise a plant that simply can’t be ignored seems like working at cross purposes. If I’m going to devote time and effort to a vegetable that grows effortlessly in seemingly no time at all, it should be the star or at least play a strong supporting role. I can accomplish that with recipes for zucchini soup, hummus or noodles.

And fritters. But coating bland zucchini in flour and egg, then frying demands something more in the way of compelling flavors. I’ve suggested mingling zucchini with other vegetables for a Korean-inspired dish. But this Turkish version is more of a zucchini purist’s that gives mint and dill their due, rather than summer’s de rigueur basil and parsley.

Tribune News Service photo

Zucchini Fritters

1 large onion, peeled and coarsely chopped

3 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more for pan frying

1 pound zucchini, finely chopped

3 eggs

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Black pepper, to taste

Dash of salt

2 to 3 fresh mint sprigs, chopped

2 to 3 fresh dill sprigs, chopped

6 to 7 ounces crumbled feta cheese

In a skillet over medium heat, saute the onion in the 3 tablespoons oil until it is soft and lightly colored.

Add the zucchini and saute, stirring, until they, too, are soft.

In a bowl, beat the eggs with the flour until well-blended. Season with the pepper and add the salt and herbs; mix well.

Fold feta into the eggs. Spoon in onion-zucchini mixture. Don’t add liquid released from zucchini while cooking.

Over medium heat, film bottom of a nonstick frying pan with oil. Add 2 tablespoons zucchini mixture for one fritter and leave enough space around each fritter for flipping it. Cook until both sides are slightly brown.

Drain on paper towels and serve.

Makes 4 servings.

— Recipe from “Arabesque” by Claudia Roden (Knopf; 2006)

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    Sarah Lemon

    Sarah Lemon covers the Rogue Valley’s food scene with an enthusiasm that rivals her love of cooking. Her blog mixes culinary musings and milestones with tips and recipes you won’t find in the Mail Tribune’s weekly A la Carte section. When ... Read Full
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