Tag Archives: zucchini

Zucchini Fritters with Feta and Yogurt Cucumber Dill Sauce

These crispy zucchini fritters make a wonderful starter or side dish, and they’re a delicious way to use up summer zucchini, because Lord knows, you or your neighbors are likely swamped with it. Of course there is always the local farm market or grocery store…

The word fritter usually conjures up something heavy and deep-fried, but these zucchini fritters are as light as can be. Serve them as a light vegetarian meal or mezze (small plate) with tzatziki and a Greek salad, or as a side dish to any Mediterranean-style fish, chicken or lamb dish.

To eliminate all of the excess moisture in zucchini, shred on a box shredder, salt it and let it drain in a fine mesh strainer for 10 minutes. Finally you want to wrap it tightly in a clean towel and squeeze out any lingering moisture. Do not let the zucchini sit on its own for too long after it’s been squeezed dry or it will turn brown.

Bind the dried zucchini with eggs and a little flour which allows its delicate flavor to shine. In ATK’s The Complete Mediterranean Cookbook where we found this recipe, and the one I followed, it did not mention baking powder as an ingredient. However, online it shows adding 1/2 teaspoon, which makes sense so I listed it below.

Oh, and do yourself a favor and buy a good block of feta cheese, not the pre-crumbled varieties. Odyssey and Mt Vikos are two great brands that contain no preservatives, additives, or calcium chloride and are Non-GMO. Traditional feta is made authentically by small family dairies in central Greece using fresh milk from sheep and goats.

Zucchini Fritters with Feta

  • Servings: 12 fritters
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 lb. zucchini (about 2 medium), trimmed
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 scallions, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. minced fresh dill
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 medium garlic clove, minced or pressed through a garlic press
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (or cornstarch)
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil, plus more if necessary
  • Lemon wedges, for serving

Directions

  1. Shred the zucchini on the large holes of a box grater or in a food processor fitted with the shredding disk. Transfer the zucchini to a fine mesh strainer and set over a bowl. Toss the zucchini with the salt and let it sit for 10 minutes.
  2. Put zucchini in a clean dish towel and fold and wring out real well with (you may need to repeat with another towel), then set aside.
  3. Beat the eggs in a large bowl. Mix in the dried zucchini, scallions, dill, feta, garlic and black pepper. Sprinkle the flour (or corn starch) and baking powder over mixture and stir until uniformly incorporated.
  4. Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Drop 2-tablespoon sized portions into the pan, then use the back of a spoon to gently press the batter into 2-inch-wide fritters. Pan-fry until golden brown on both sides, 2-3 minutes per side. Repeat as needed.
  5. Transfer the fritters to a paper towel-lined plate. Add a bit more oil to the pan if necessary, then repeat with the remaining batter. Serve warm or room temperature with lemon wedges.

http://www.lynnandruss.com

By Jennifer Segal, adapted from Cooks Illustrated

Yogurt Cucumber Dill Sauce

Not a dill fan? Substitute cilantro, mint, parsley or tarragon instead. Sauce can be made one day ahead.

Yogurt Cucumber Dill Sauce

  • Servings: Yields about 2 cups
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. minced fresh dill
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, and shredded
  • Salt and Pepper

Directions

  1. Whisk yogurt, oil and garlic together in a medium bowl until combined.
  2. Stir in cucumber and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Refrigerate covered. Take out and leave on counter for 30 minutes before eating.

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Shrimp, Orzo and Zucchini with Ouzo and Mint

In this Mediterranean recipe, you will coax orzo pasta to a rich, creamy texture, as if making risotto. A fragrant broth* of brandy, aromatic vegetables and shrimp shells is the cooking liquid for the orzo, infusing the dish with richness and subtle sweetness.

The shrimp themselves are added only after the orzo is al dente so they remain plump and tender. This adaptation from Milk Street takes a simple approach to the cooking with fewer ingredients than the Greek original, but retains the delicious, bracing flavors.

Ouzo is a Greek anise-flavored spirit; it’s added at the very end of cooking to accentuate the licorice notes of the fennel seed. Milk Street suggests that you don’t choose large zucchini for this recipe. Look for small to medium squash (ones that weigh 6 to 8 ounces each), as they have fewer seeds to remove. Well our supermarket didn’t have any smaller ones so we got a large zucchini before reading this tip, and it worked out fine.

To seed the zucchini, use a small spoon to scrape along the center of each half. Also, if making the shrimp broth, when simmering, don’t allow it to boil or simmer vigorously or the liquid will evaporate too quickly and the finished volume will be too slight.

*Since we already had homemade shellfish stock on hand, there was no need to make the broth and thus omitted the red bell pepper, celery and onion, and started at Step 5 with seasoning the shrimp. We also used frozen shrimp without shells since we weren’t making broth. These two things saved a large amount of time in prepping and cooking. We did however add the brandy to our homemade stock and included the bay leaves in the cooking process.

Shrimp, Orzo and Zucchini with Ouzo and Mints

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 lb. extra-large (21/25 per pound) shrimp, peeled (tails removed) and deveined, shells reserved
  • 3 medium celery stalks, roughly chopped
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and roughly chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 bay leaves
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup brandy
  • 1 cup orzo
  • 2 medium zucchini (about 1 lb. total), halved lengthwise, seeded and thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1 lb. ripe plum or cocktail tomatoes, cored and roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp. fennel seeds, lightly crushed
  • 1 Tbsp. plus 1 teaspoon ouzo
  • 1½ tsp. grated lemon zest
  • ½ cup lightly packed fresh mint, chopped

Directions

  1. In a large pot over medium-high, heat 1 tablespoon of oil until shimmering. Add the shrimp shells and cook, stirring just once or twice, until bright pink and dry, 3 to 4 minutes.
  2. Add the celery, bell pepper, onion, bay and ¼ teaspoon salt, then cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to release moisture, 2 to 4 minutes.
  3. Add the brandy and scrape up any browned bits. Add 4 cups water, bring to a boil, then reduce to medium and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
  4. Cool for about 10 minutes, then strain through a fine mesh sieve set over a 1-quart liquid measuring cup or medium bowl; press on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible (discard the solids). You should have about 3 cups strained broth.
  5. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper; set aside. In a 12-inch skillet over medium, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil until shimmering. Add the orzo and stir to coat.
  6. Add the zucchini, tomatoes, fennel seeds, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the tomatoes begin to release their liquid, 3 to 5 minutes.
  7. Add 1½ cups shrimp broth and bring to a simmer over medium-high. Cook, uncovered and stirring often, until most of the liquid has been absorbed, about 6 minutes; reduce the heat as the mixture thickens.
  8. Add another 1 cup broth and cook, stirring vigorously and adjusting the heat to maintain a simmer, until the orzo is tender and the consistency is slightly soupy, 3 to 6 minutes.
  9. Add the shrimp and another ¼ cup broth, then cook over medium, stirring occasionally, until the shrimp are opaque throughout, about 3 minutes.
  10. Remove the pot from the heat. Remove and discard the bay, then stir in the ouzo and lemon zest. If desired, thin the consistency by stirring in additional broth, then taste and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle with the mint.

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This was an adaptation of a recipe by Courtney Hill for Milk Street