Zucchini Fennel Fritters
Zucchini Fennel Fritters

Adapted from smitten kitchen

I've had my food processor for something like 15 years and never once used the shredding blade. It was out of sight, out of mind, shoved way back in the pantry, behind the waffle iron and the grill pan and the plastic forks and cups that I bought for a picnic seven years ago and could never bring myself to throw out. For all these years, I've been using my trusty box grater, making a mess, getting vegetable shreds all over the kithen floor and counter and losing a bit of skin off my fingers in the process.

Luckily, thanks to an epic pantry reorganization, I rediscovered the long-lost blade just in time to make these fritters. I had an obscene amount of zucchini and fennel in my refrigerator, as well as some basil that was losing the battle against time and my inability to keep fresh herbs for more than a day or two. In less than half a minute, I had a bowl full of shredded vegetables. It was pretty exciting.

The secret to a good fritter is to wrap the vegetables in a towel and squeeze out as much liquid as possible. I once struck up a conversation with my boss's wife at an office holiday party on this very topic, and she said to "squeeze and squeeze and squeeze until you've squeezed all the life out of it," which didn't really make for the most cheerful Christmas chat but ended up being excellent fritter-making advice. You want to squeeze until your hands and arms start to hurt, and then, if you've used your food processor's shredding blade and can spare the extra muscle, squeeze a bit longer, just to be sure.

Zucchini, fennel, scallions, and basil for zucchini fennel fritters Chopped scallions for zucchini fennel fritters Shredded zucchini for zucchini fennel fritters
Shredded zucchini and fennel squeezed in a towel for zucchini fennel fritters Hand-mixing the ingredients for the zucchini fennel fritters Frying the zucchini fennel fritters
Frying the zucchini fennel fritters Zucchini fennel fritters on a baking seet Zucchini fennel fritters topped with Greek yogurt

Ingredients for 10 - 12 Zucchini Fennel Fritters:

Make the Zucchini Fennel Fritters:

Preheat the oven to 200° F. Have a baking sheet and a plate lined with paper towels ready.

Cut the ends off the zucchini, and shred the zucchini and fennel using the shredding blade of your food processor by hand on the large holes of a box grater. Chop the scallions and the basil. Wrap the zucchini and fennel in towel and squeeze to remove as much liquid as possible. Add the zucchini, fennel, scallions and basil to a bowl along with the beaten egg, feta, flour, baking powder and black pepper. Stir until mixed completely.

In a large pan, heat a combination of olive and vegetable oil over medium heat so that it coats the bottom. Use a ¼ cup measuring cup to drop the fritter mixture into the pan. Press down with a spatula and cook a few minutes until they get browned and crisp before flipping and cooking the other side.

Once the fritters are golden brown on both sides, remove them from the pan and place them on the plate lined with paper towels to absorb some of the cooking oil. Place on the baking sheet and cook in the oven for another ten minutes or so, while the remaining fritters are frying in the pan. This will help make them extra crispy.

Serve with a dollop of plain, Greek yogurt or a fried egg. The fritters will last awhile in the refrigerator or freezer and are just as good reheated.

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