My mom picked 22 zucchini out of her garden on Saturday, and at least half of them are bigger than my arm. True story. There’s a lot of zucchini bread happening in our family this week. However, one cannot live on zucchini bread alone. Sure, it’s easy and a classic, but it’s certainly useful to have some other zucchini recipes on hand for when situations such as this arise. Some of my favorites include beer-battered zucchini fries and zucchini squares, and coming from an Italian family who makes countless fritters for Christmas Eve every year, I absolutely could not pass up this zucchini-corn fritter recipe.
On Christmas Eve, my grandma always fried up different varieties of fritters – apple, corn and cauliflower. Once in a awhile, she made broccoli, but everyone’s favorite is corn. I had never even thought of adding zucchini to a fritter recipe, but it makes perfect sense! The zucchini flavor is so mild, it’s the perfect accompaniment to the corn and a fabulous way to use up all that extra zucchini! The use of cornmeal gives these fritters an extra oomph of corn flavor and a wonderful crunch. (I used course-ground cornmeal, which are the yellow flecks you see in the photos.)
While I usually associate fritters with Christmas Eve dinners, I’m happy to introduce them to my summer menus!
- 2 medium zucchini, shredded
- ½ teaspoon (0.5 teaspoon) kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- ½ (0.5 ) small onion, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 ears of corn, kernels cut off
- ½ cup (79.5 g) yellow cornmeal
- ½ cup (62.5 g) all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon (0.25 teaspoon) baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon (0.75 teaspoon) kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon (0.25 teaspoon) black pepper
- ¾ cup (180 ml) buttermilk
- 1 egg
- Vegetable or canola oil, for frying
- Salt, to taste
- In a small bowl, toss the shredded zucchini with ½ teaspoon kosher salt. Set aside for 10 minutes, then wrap in a clean kitchen towel or a triple layer of paper towels, and squeeze to release excess moisture. Set aside.
- Place the butter in a large nonstick skillet (I used my Le Creuset 3½-quart braiser) set over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add the onion and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onion has softened, about 4 minutes. Stir in the corn and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, baking soda, kosher salt and pepper. In a second medium-sized bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and egg until well combined. Add the corn mixture and zucchini, and stir to combine. Add the cornmeal mixture, and gently mix just until everything comes together.
- Add enough oil to the skillet to come to a depth of about ⅛-inch. Set the pan over medium heat. When the oil is hot, drop the batter into the pan using a 1/4 cup measure. Use the back of the measuring cup to flatten the batter into a round. Cook for about 3-4 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain and sprinkle with salt while still hot. Repeat with remaining batter (you may need to add additional oil as you get to the last few).
- The fritters can be made up to 2 hours ahead of time. Reheat them in a 375 degrees F oven on a wire rack set inside of a baking sheet.