The tastiest, most versatile vegetable side dish ever!
If I were a poet, I suspect I would do nothing but write sonnets about fruits and vegetables. My love of produce is so deep that it actually invades my dreams….and this recipe is a case in point. A lovely backyard meal under the trees on a warm evening was the theme of my slumbering thoughts and when I awoke, I remembered just one dish from my dreamy menu: these fritters. A quick trip to the farmers’ market for corn, zucchini and green onions and my experimentation was under way. The light, crispy fritters were a snap to make. The topping is borrowed from this great Mexican-style grilled corn recipe and it was really fabulous on the fritters; they’d also be fantastic topped with your favourite salsa or chutney, for a little extra flavour pop. Last but not least, these fritters reheat beautifully so you can make them ahead for your next dream-worthy backyard party! I have served the fritters with grilled sausages and grilled fish and they were the perfect accompaniment for both. I also ate the leftovers with poached eggs on top for breakfast and that was pretty spectacular.
For the creamy, tangy topping:
- 1 tablespoon (15 mL) mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) sour cream
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) very finely crumbled feta cheese
- 1/4 teaspoon (1.25 mL) chili powder, or more to taste
- 1 tablespoon (15 mL) freshly-squeezed lime juice (about 1/2 lime)
For the fritters:
- 1 large or 2 medium ears of fresh corn*
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 – 2 medium sized zucchini
- kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) milk
- 2 green onions, finely sliced
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) all-purpose flour (use corn or oat flour for gluten-free version)
- 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) baking powder
*I grilled the corn because I love those subtle, smoky notes but you could easily steam or boil instead OR substitute with 1 cup/250 mL frozen corn kernels, cooked for 2 minutes in boiling water then drained really well.
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 lime, cut into wedges
- Make topping by blending together mayonnaise, sour cream, feta, chili powder and lime juice. Cover and refrigerate.
- Preheat barbeque to medium-high. Peel husks and silk from corn and brush with a little of the olive oil. Grill, turning often, for about 15 minutes until kernels are tender and lightly charred. Remove from heat and set aside to cool for 5 minutes, then remove kernels from cobs with a sharp knife or corn stripper. Measure out 1 cup (250 mL) of corn and reserve the rest for another use.
- While corn is cooking, grate the zucchini on the large holes of a box grater. Measure out 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) and transfer to a medium bowl. Toss with 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) coarse kosher salt and let sit for 10 minutes. Squeeze out as much moisture as possible with your hands, then transfer to a clean kitchen towel, wrap edges, and squeeze gently to remove more moisture. Dry the bowl and return zucchini to it.
- To the zucchini, add the grilled corn kernels, green onions, beaten egg, milk and a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Stir gently to combine.
- In a small bowl, combine the flour and baking powder. Add to the zucchini mixture and mix to blend well.
- Preheat oven to 325F if serving fritters right after frying in batches.
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large, heavy skillet placed over medium-high heat. Drop a large dollop – I used a 1/3 cup (90 mL) measure – of the zucchini mixture into the skillet, then use the back of a spoon to gently spread out into a thin, round layer about 1/3 inch (1.2 cm) thick. Repeat with 2 – 3 more dollops (depending upon the size of your pan).
- Reduce heat to medium and cook until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes per side; transfer cooked fritters to a rack placed over a baking sheet and let cool if serving later or keep warm in the preheated oven while remaining fritters cook.
- Add 1 tablespoon oil to the skillet and repeat with the remaining zucchini mixture.
- Fritters can be cooled then packed in an airtight container between sheets of parchment paper and refrigerated for up to 48 hours. To reheat, put on a wire rack placed over a baking tray and warm in a preheated 375F oven for 12 – 15 minutes.
- To serve, sprinkle the hot fritters with cilantro then serve with sauce and lime wedges.
Makes 6 large fritters; recipe can easily be multiplied.