These fritters certainly are not Easter-y by any means but I had a hard time finding an Italian appetizer that didn’t involve bread or cheese. Because bread and/or cheese already occupied 3 of the 5 dishes I had planned for Easter (including the Panzanella Salad Angie made), I didn’t want 4 of the 6 dishes we were eating to involve bread and/or cheese.
These fritters also hail from The Tucci Cookbook as evidenced by the recipe title. I don’t believe I exactly followed the recipe (added an additional zucchini because the zucchini amount called for did not feel sufficient to feed 5 people) and it’s a good thing I did because this recipe yielded 14 tiny fritters. Tiny in my estimation because I like foods to be, well, big!
Tiny worked in this instance because we had a lot of food going on for our Easter meal. Everyone got a little taste of the fritters before we fairly quickly moved on to the salad. I served them with garlic aoili because I felt as though they needed a dipping sauce. I made a homemade aioli instead of a quick aioli I’ve made in the past. Angie is not fond of mayonnaise so I didn’t want to use a dip made of mayonnaise (even though the homemade aioli recipe I used is basically an olive oil garlic mayo).
The immediate reaction when the fritters were served was a resounding THESE ARE AMAZING from my guests. I agreed when I bit in, but I can’t vouch that they were amazing without the dipping sauce because I didn’t try any without it. The aoili was that good.
- 3 medium sized zucchinis, washed and dried and grated
- 2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 large egg
- 3 to 5 T. all-purpose flour
- ¼ c. finely grated pecorino Romano cheese
- olive oil, for frying
- Place the grated zucchini in a colander and toss with salt. Place the colander over a bowl and let stand for 30 minutes or overnight. (I did this step the night before.) The bowl will catch the green water that will drip from the zucchini.
- Squeeze all the water from the zucchini by wringing small portions of zucchini between your hands. This takes forever. When finished transfer the zucchini to a bowl. Add the egg, cheese and 3 tablespoons of flour to the bowl. Stir with a fork. Add more flour as necessary to create a mixture that holds together.
- Add olive oil to a small frying pan and heat to medium-high. When the oil is not (not smoking), scoop out rounded tablespoons of the batter and add to the pan. Flatten slightly with a spatula. Fry the fritters until they are golden brown and then flip – each side may take up to 3 minutes. (You can see I overcooked mine using the marker of 3 minutes!)
- Transfer to a paper towel lined plate to drain before serving.
This recipe was a group effort. Angie grated and salted. I squeezed the water from the zucchini (which takes a looooooong time). Angie mixed the remaining ingredients; I fried the fritters (obviously a bit too long as they look a bit dark).
Would I make these again? Hell yes.