These fritters come together without much fuss, and are easily reheated for a quick meal a few days after. (Make them ahead, and reheat them in a 350F oven for about 10 minutes, or simply keep them warm in a 200F oven until guests arrive.) If you want alternative toppers to the dipping sauce below, try a sliver of nutty cheese, a paper-thin slice of salt-cured ham or a leaf of smoked salmon. This batch yields about 12 "large" fritters (3-inches in diameter), or 24 "small" (1.5-inches in diameter); feel free to scale up if you want to. Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen’s Zucchini Fritters. —Cristina Sciarra
12 "large" fritters, 24 "small"
2 medium zucchini
1.5 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
1 ear sweet corn
1 large egg
freshly cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup flour
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup thick Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon sambal oelek (or another chili paste or hot sauce of your choice)
Trim the ends off the zucchini, and then grate them. (You can use the shredding disc of a food processor, or the largest holes of a box grater.) Move the grated zucchini to a large bowl, and stir in 1 teaspoon of the kosher salt. Leave the bowl alone for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, the zucchini should have given off some water. You want the zucchini as dry as possible before cooking. You can: drain the zucchini in a colander (using the back of a spoon to push out the water), or wrap it in cheesecloth, or (my preferred method) you can wrap the zucchini in a clean dishcloth and twist, twist, twist. Either way, when the zucchini is as dry as you can get it, wipe out the large bowl, and move the zucchini back into it.
Now prepare the other fritter ingredients: Shuck the corn. Cut the kernels from the cob, and add them to the mixing bowl. Wash any dirt away from the scallions, and then thinly slice them; add them to the bowl. Crack the egg into the bowl, followed by several cracks of freshly grated black pepper, the lemon zest, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Use a spatula to fold everything together.
In a small bowl, whisk together the baking powder with the flour. Then use your spatula to fold the dry ingredients evenly into the zucchini mix.
Heat the oven to 200F.
Heat the olive oil in a cast iron (or very heavy) pan. Turn the heat to medium high-ish, and let the oil warm up, until it sputters when you flick water across the surface.
Meanwhile, form the zucchini mix into patties, about 2-3 inches in diameter. Cook the patties for 3-5 minutes per side, until they’re crisp and browned on both sides. (I did mine in two batches, so as not to crowd the pan.) As soon as the fritters are cooked, move them to a baking sheet and into the oven, just to keep them warm until serving.
In a small bowl, stir the sambal oelek into the Greek yogurt. Serve alongside the fritters.
(These fritters can be made up to 2 days in advance. If you are making them ahead, don’t bother moving them to a 200F oven after cooking. Allow them to cool on a plate, wrap well in plastic, and move to the fridge. To reheat, lay the fritters on a baking sheet, and cook for 10 minutes in a 350F oven.)
Cristina is a writer, cook, and day job real estate developer. She studied literature, holds an MFA in Fiction Writing, and completed the Basic Cuisine course at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. She lives in Jersey City with her husband--a Frenchman she met in Spain--and their sweet black cat, Minou. Follow her writings, recipes, publications and photography at theroamingkitchen.com.