Have a pile of zucchini to eat? Or maybe you just love zucchini and are looking for something interesting and different to do with it? Well then, these Greek style, gluten-free zucchini fritters may be just what you want! They are substantial enough to be a vegetarian main (you can turn them into sliders!) or make a great side for something on the grill.
Last week when I was writing up my Heirloom Tomato Salad recipe, I mentioned a giant zucchini my neighbors gifted me. It’s quite lovely having neighbors who are willing to share their vegetables with me, since I have long been farming impaired due to my black thumb. Never ask whether I can kill a plant; just ask how long. It’s lovely even when they are gifting me with incredibly large zucchinis.
Large enough that you could club someone over the head with it. If you were into that. And large enough that I tested and made final versions of TWO recipes, with more left over for some quick breads for the freezer!
Like I said, it was BIG. 🙂
So, next week I have a great Zucchini Cheddar Biscuit recipe. Light and fluffy and yummy! And this week I have a great, gluten-free zucchini fritter recipe. I adore both recipes and I don’t think I can choose a favorite between them! However, since the point of this post is to talk about zucchini fritters, I should talk about how much I love these fritters. Because I do.
Tip: Giant zucchini aren’t as tender as young ones, but they are great in any recipe which calls for shredded or chopped zucchini. Just remember to peel them before using!
One of the inspirations for these fritters comes from my recipe for latkes.
I’ve made them for years with a combination of finely chopped potatoes plus some shredded potatoes. This gives me a base of potato which holds together and scaffold of shredded pieces to provide structure. For my first test of this recipe, I used only finely chopped zucchini, which didn’t quite work. As soon as I thought about the latkes, I realized what I needed to do. A little shredded zucchini, and the texture was just right!
Another inspiration came from my Gluten-Free Shrimp Fritters. (I love those fritters!)
In those I used rice flour to provide crispness. Since I had plenty of rice flour in the pantry, I thought I’d give it shot here too. While you can certainly use wheat-based flour in the fritters, the rice flour makes them light and crispy while eliminating that pesky gluten for those who are staying away from it.
Tip: Giant zucchinis tend to be bitter. It’s a good idea to squeeze the juice out even if it’s not strictly necessary for the recipe.
And then, lastly, I took inspiration from my love of Greek food and flavors by combining the zucchini with feta cheese and topping the fritters with tzatziki sauce. Yum!
When it comes to feta, I tend to alternate between French brands of feta and Greek brands. It all depends on what’s available and whether I want a creamier or a sharper feta. Sometimes I even swing out to the Greek import store down the road and have them cut me off a wedge of whatever feta strikes my fancy that day. (Yes, I have a Greek import store nearby. It’s a dangerous place! I always spend too much. 🙂 ) However, like most people, I usually wind up at the local supermarket and pick from their selection.
What did I select here?
For this recipe, I used Mt. Vikos traditional feta from the supermarket. It’s gluten-free and vegetarian. And tasty!
To finish off the recipe, I made a sauce to go with the zucchini fritters. I have a number of Greek/Mediterranean sauces which would work, but you can never go wrong with tzatziki sauce. It’s simple, quick, and the tangy flavor is a wonderful counterpoint to the crispy fritters.
– Happy Eating, Annemarie
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- 1 1/2 lb zucchini, peeled and seeded if necessary
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
- 4 large scallions, finely chopped, use all but dark green
- 1/2 cup rice flour, (or an equal amount of all-purpose flour)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 large eggs
- 4 oz feta, crumbled
- vegetable oil for frying
- 2 cups plain greek yogurt, preferably 2%
- ½ cup shredded cucumber, squeezed dry, peeled and seeded if necessary
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced
Cut zucchini into large chunks. In a food processor with the blade attachment, process 1 pound (2/3 of the total) of zucchini for 10 seconds, or until finely chopped. Pulse 1-2 times more to get any large chunks. Transfer the chopped zucchini to a large bowl. Switch the processor to the shredding attachment and shred the remaining 1/2 pound of zucchini; then transfer it to the bowl with the rest. Salt the zucchini and toss to combine. Set aside for 10-15 minutes. Scoop the zucchini into a clean kitchen towel and squeeze it until most of the liquid has been removed.
Rinse out the large bowl you were using and put the squeezed zucchini in the bowl. Add the parsley and scallions and stir. Then add the rice flour, baking powder, and eggs. Mix well. Gently stir in the crumbled feta. Let the fritter batter rest for a few minutes while you heat up the skillet.
Add enough oil to a 12 inch skillet to coat the bottom. Heat the skillet on medium until the oil is shimmering and hot. Set out a platter or baking tray lined with paper towels.
Working in batches, scoop out portions of batter which measure about 2-3 tablespoons. Flatten each scoop into a patty and lay it into the hot oil. Don't overcrowd the skillet. Fry 2 minutes to a side, until the patties are golden brown and crispy, adding more oil as necessary. Transfer the cooked fritters to a the prepared tray.
To make the tzatziki sauce: Add all ingredients to a medium bowl. Stir to combine. Taste and adjust the seasonings if necessary.
- Used a #24 Red Zeroll Disher for the fritters. It holds a little more than 2 1/2 tablespoons and produced nicely sized patties. (Dishers are sized by the amount of scoops per cup. #24 Dishers make 6 scoops per cup.)
- A good time to make the tzatziki sauce is while the zucchini is salted and resting.
- The recipe makes 4 main course vegetarian dinners or 8 side dish portions.