Zucchini Fritters

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Zucchini Fritters via @spinachtiger

 

Houses are now bigger than ever and supposed to make our life better,  but they come with entrances that require an invitation.

I long for the times we used to sit on the front porch and neighbors would drop by for ice tea or coffee. Even as a teenager, my friends would come to pick me up or drop me off, end up parking the car and we would spend an hour on the porch listening to the latest story about something or about nothing. It didn’t matter. It was just making a connection. Now we have more technology and we can text a friend on the other side of the world, but texting never tells the story.

 

I recently visited a friend who now lives in the house she grew up in and it has a well used front porch full of stories, history. On two different nights we sat there till after 1:00 a.m. Every now and then the 93 year shirtless man next door would come to his porch and wave. My friend has known him all her life.

A good friend and neighbor, Janet, made it over to the porch several times. She is Italian, loves to cook as much as I do, and when she found out I wrote a food blog, she graciously came with written out recipes in hand to share. I envy her neighbors because she’s the type that not only shares recipes, but comes with food. Good food. Soon after she gave me her zucchini fritter family recipe, she ran home made a batch and returned with a hot platter.

I got more than a recipe from her. I got her story. She’s a giver. She doubles this recipe and takes these zucchini fritters to gatherings. She’s enjoys making people happy with food. I found out that although she is younger than my friend, she was best friends with my friend’s mother. She sat on that porch for years with her laughing, hearing family secrets and, in the end, taking care of her like a daughter would. That front porch created a life long bond far more profound than the instant text.

I could have downloaded a recipe for zucchini fritters from an app, but it wouldn’t mean the same thing to me. When she arrived on the front porch with those hot fritters, I knew I had made a friend.

The Zucchini Fritters

The batter will be thick. The normal size would be a heaping tablespoon, but if you want to make some bite size fritters, uses a teaspoon.

I made it twice to be sure the recipe worked well. The first time I used a food processor to shred the zucchini. The second time, I used an old fashioned box cheese grater and I liked that texture better. I changed a few things by making my own bread crumbs and adding in fresh basil, but the important part of the recipe stayed the same. In addition to the flour, there is a  a good amount of eggs and some baking powder. I also like that she used the pecorino romano cheese, which is a favorite of mine. It’s saltiness carries an egg dish which can go bland. I replaced the olive oil with a good grapeseed oil, which has a flavor all its own and is good for high temperature cooking. Make sure you use a full half cup in this recipe. It makes a difference.

I can’t wait to come back with a few more of her specialties like stromboli, or her BLT pasta salad. I tried hard to get her mother’s recipe for cucidati cookies, an Italian fig cookie made at Christmas time, but she did share the secret ingredient. This is Janet’s go to dish for parties.

By the way, one night we had to move our car for trash day. It was 1:30 in the morning and I suggested we use the drive way of the 93 year old neighbor who no longer drives. My friend said, “good idea, I’ll call him right now.” I replied, “but, it’s 1:30 in the morning.” She said, “that’s okay, he’s up till 5.”  She called and he was up and happy. I just love the eccentricities that come with living in a city neighborhood.

Tell me, did you ever get to spend time sitting on the front porch?

Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Zucchini Fritters

Zucchini fritters, an Italian appetizer made with eggs, flour, and Italian cheese
Servings: 6

Ingredients

  • 5 large zucchini size of big cucumbers shredded with box grater.
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup pecorino romano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Shred zucchini with either a box grater or food processor that shreds, but does not mash. Salt zucchini, let stand 10 minutes and then absorb the extra moisture with paper towels.
  • Mix together flour, breadcrumbs, salt, baking powder. Add cheese.
  • Beat eggs and add to mixture. Mixture will be somewhat dry when stirring. Let it sit for 20 minutes. If the mixture is too moist, add in more flour until it looks like the picture.
  • Drop from a spoon and hot olive oil on medium high heat. I usually do one tester and then apply extra seasoning if necessary, by adding in more cheese, or salt.
  • Must get brown before turn them. Use a heaping tablespoon for regular size or a teaspoon for bite size.
  • You can serve with yogurt, sour cream or an aoili or just alone, my preference.

Notes

Regarding the seasoned breadcrumbs, I ground up panko bread crumbs and applied my own herbs. You can use Italian bread crumbs.
Regarding the pecorino cheese, it's important to use the real cheese you grate yourself to build flavor. You can substitute with a real good parmesan.

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23 Comments

  1. The porch is waiting for you to come back Angela…a glass of wine, good food and good friends ..life doesn’t get much better. We need to do the wine tours when you come back…Miss you my friend

    1. That might be true, however most are not as egg heavy. You must be looking for something unique. Try adding in corn or another vegetable for a special kind of fritter.

  2. Angela,
    I was so glad you enjoyed your time in Niagara Falls. I loved the story! I hope you make it back here sometime. It was really nice meeting you and the long food talks. I’ll be a reg. on your site!!

  3. Tried this recipe and they didn’t get dry at all… very moist, too moist,
    Also I feel lke they needed more flavor?

  4. Hehe it must be zucchini glut time as I have read about 3 blogs today making something with them. I love zucchini and can’t wait till summer here so I can grow a couple of plants again. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. 5 stars
    I love this! About a year ago, i was at a luncheon and a friend of mine brought zucchini fritters – they were wonderful. i didn’t need the dip she served it with either – I just loved them all on their own. I really connected to your story about the front porch. I used to have a front porch at the my last house and it was where I went with my dog and newspaper every weekend morning. It was a wonderful way to visit with neighbors walking by, and just pass the morning away.

  6. Well, after your intro I consider myself very lucky. I do not live in a childhood home, but I do live in a small house with a front and back porch..my house sits facing a street with brick sidewalks just a few feet away. We often sit on the front porch late in the evening when it cools off and watch folks walk by..walking their dogs or on their way to a local restaurant for dinner or just out for a stroll..we have lots of impromptu conversations and catch up on what is happening in our neighborhood. I never, ever take these times for granted. We also love zucchini fritters…especially when they look as beautiful as yours!

  7. I just love zucchini fritters. They are the perfect snack. I had a friend who made them pancake size and then put them in a sandwich with a slice of cheese and sometimes ham or even meatballs. They were soooo good! Yours is an excellent recipe… thanks for the hand grater tip.

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