I was craving Keftedes (Greek meatballs, which have fresh mint in them) for some reason.  As I was seeking out a recipe I came across a recipe for zucchini ‘keftedes’, or zucchini fritters.  This delicious vegetarian option contains feta (a brined cured Greek sheep’s/goat’s milk cheese), fresh mint, and fresh dill or fennel.  Dill and fennel are in the same herb family, so feel free to substitute and interchange the two.  The recipe called for dill.  I had fennel, so I used the tops off those.  I was VERY pleased.

Ingredients:

  • 1 med-large zuccini
  • 1 tsp kosher or sea salt
  • 1/2 cup minced leek
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh fennel (the feathery top part–or dill)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp fine grated lemon peel
  • 1 cup Panko (Japanese bread crumbs–probably could sub for your own bread crumb mixture)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

Tzatziki for dipping 🙂

How to prepare:

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Grated Zucchini

Grate the zucchini, using the larger holes on the grater.  You will need to get the moisture out before making the fritters, as zucchini carries a lot of water.  You might know this if you’ve ever tried to make zucchini bread and it’s turned out sloppy and too moist.

The recipe called for grating it onto a clean kitchen towel, which I did.  It then said to sprinkle the coarse salt over the zucchini and let it sit for 30 min-1 hr.  I didn’t wait, and this still worked.  Wring the kitchen towel out as much and as firmly as you can, many times, to squeeze as much moisture as you can out of the zucchini.

Put the zucchini in a medium bowl and add minced leek, garlic, mint, fennel or dill, lemon peel, and black pepper.

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Use Fennel in place of dill if you have it! delicious

*To chop your fresh herbs, consider getting one of these nifty tools — herb scissors! A very welcome gift from my mom (www.beachdazed.com).  They have four blades and reduce waste on fresh herbs by allowing you to chop them quickly and easily right into your mixing bowl. I loved having these for all the mint/fennel recipes I made this day.

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Chopping the herbs with herb scissors





Stir in panko and egg, then the feta.
 

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Mixing all the ingredients together

Mix, and then form into 2″ patties, and place on a baking sheet that you can place in the refrigerator to chill.

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Zucchini friters made, ready to chill for an hour

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Zucchini fritters before cooking

Chill fritters at least one hour . I chilled them for 3.
Add 1/4 ” of grapeseed oil (has a high smoke point, so it’s good for frying, plus it’s healthier than many other oils) to a nonstick frying pan, and heat.

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Frying zucchini fritters in grapeseed oil

 

Add the zucchini fritters and fry for several minutes on each side until light golden brown.  Check to make sure they aren’t sticking shortly after adding these to the pan.

Place fritters on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb some of the oil.
Serve with tzatziki, greek yogurt, and fennel or dill garnish.

These turned out so DELICIOUS I think I will make these again, but in a much bigger batch.  I got 14 fritters out of this batch.

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Finished zucchini fritters! YUM!

{May 3, 2011} {Tags: , , , , , , }