Updated: Sep 27
Last Saturday morning, I went to the farmer's market as usual. I spotted some beautiful light-colored zucchini. While you usually see dark green zucchini, they come in other colors like bright yellow. The recipe I’m sharing with you today can be made with summer squash or even pattypan. My first real memory of zucchini was eating it in an exceptionally smooth mustard-yellow spread back in kindergarten. My mom also made delicious zucchini pancakes. They're kind of like potato pancakes; very comforting. With good dip, you can't stop eating them! Today we're going to make something similar: gluten-free cheesy zucchini fritters.
Fritters are great for picky eaters. Children are usually funny about veggies, but in my case, it's my husband. Zucchini is one of the two vegetables my husband loves (broccoli is the other one). He's funny about veggies in general and how they should be prepared. He used to always want those two veggies sautéed in butter with salt, black pepper, and garlic. That’s it! During our first year of marriage when I didn’t cook (or very rarely cooked), we only ate them this way. But honestly, no matter how good they are like that, I got bored. Life is too short to eat food the same way all the time.
These zucchini fritters are a delicious and elegant starter for your summer dinner, savory breakfast, or lunch with a side of green salad. They are perfectly paired with any protein you like to eat, super easy to make, and easily frozen for an emergency meal. The sweetness of the carrots gives a boost of flavor, and their bright color makes these fritters pleasing to look at. These fritters are perfected by adding the king of all cheese: Parmesan (good quality only, please!).The umami flavor and cheesiness from it tie everything together beautifully.
As we all know, zucchini is healthy vegetable. It contains a variety of vitamins, minerals, and insoluble fiber. Fun fact about zucchini: it has more vitamin A when it's cooked than when it's raw! We'll make more zucchini recipes together in the future, but for now, let's begin...
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Total time: 35 minutes
Author: Inna of innichkachef.com
Yields: 12 fritters
Zucchini Fritter Ingredients
3 medium zucchini, grated
1 cup chopped and cooked carrots (see additional ingredients below)
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
3-4 sprigs green onions, chopped
½ cup Italian parsley, chopped
1 cup rolled oats (gluten free)
1 teaspoon pink salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon smoked paprika (optional)
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
Chickpeas flour (for rolling fritters before frying)
Olive oil (not extra virgin) for frying
Ingredients for the carrots:
1 cup chopped carrots
¼ teaspoon pink salt
Few turns of black pepper
½ teaspoon dry tarragon (optional)
1 tablespoon butter
Greek yogurt, sour cream, or crème fraiche (for serving).
You can use any fresh herbs you wish. I used parsley and green onion in my video, but you can try cilantro, basil, dill, tarragon, thyme, marjoram, garlic chives, etc.
If you don’t have chickpea flour, feel free to skip the flour altogether. You can use regular all-purpose flour, but it won't be gluten-free.
1. To cook the carrots, add butter to a pan over medium heat and let it melt. Then add the carrots, salt, black pepper, and dry tarragon. Stir and let cook for 2-3 minutes. Then reduce the heat and cover with a lid. Let cook for another 5 minutes. Keep an eye on it. After they're cooked, let the carrots cool to room temperature.
2. Grate the zucchini. Add salt and mix. Let sit for a few minutes while you are working on other ingredients.
3. To a food processor, add oats, eggs, red pepper flakes, black pepper, smoked paprika, parmesan cheese, green onions, and parsley. Pulse a few times, stopping to scrape the sides once a while. Continue until everything is well-combined and has a nice, smooth texture.
4. Add cooked and cooled carrots, then pulse a few more time. Transfer mixture to a big mixing bowl.
5. In another bowl, lay a double layer of cheesecloth and add the grated zucchini to it. Make a ball and squeeze out as much liquid as possible.
6. Add the squeezed zucchini to the bowl with the veggies and oats mixture. Mix together well with a wooden spoon.
7. To fry fritters, set up a station with chickpea flour in shallow plate. Add oil to the frying pan, and let it get hot.
8. Scoop the zucchini dough with a cookie scooper, add it to the flour, roll it around with your finger, and make it flat by gently pressing on the middle. Place in the hot pan. Fry for 2-3 minutes per side.
9. Serve immediately with your favorite dip!
To fry fritters, use a cast iron pan or nonstick frying pan. I like this non-toxic one by GreenPan.
Fritters can be wrapped in foil and frozen. When you're ready to eat them, lay them on a baking sheet in the oven at 350F for 10-12 minutes until they're crisp outside and warm inside again. Serve immediately with your favorite dip.