Saturday, September 17, 2011

Zucchini Keftedes with Feta and Dill


Zucchini is everywhere right now. Only so many of these slender green squash can be turned into stir fry, zucchini bread, or oven roasted side dishes. These fritters in Bon Appetit caught my eye a while back. We'll see if this turns into a new go-to recipe for summer's excess bounty.

adapted from "Easter goes Greek" in Bon Appetit, April 2011

12 servings

The Ingredients:
1 1/3 lbs medium zucchini, trimmed
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup green onions, thinly sliced
3 Tbsp fresh dill, chopped
3 Tbsp fresh mint, chopped
2-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp lemon peel, finely grated
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 cup panko
1 large egg, beaten
1 cup feta, coarsely crumbled
canola oil (for frying)

The Process:
Grate zucchini onto a clean kitchen towel or several layers of fine cheesecloth. Sprinkle with coarse salt and let stand at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour. Gather up the towel or cheesecloth around the zucchini and twist to squeeze out as much liquid as possible.

Place shredded zucchini in a medium bowl. Mix in green onion, dill, mint, garlic, lemon peel and black pepper. Gently stir in panko and egg. Fold in feta. Using approximately 2 Tbsp of the zucchini mixture for each fritter, shape a 1 3/4 - 2 inch patty. Place on a baking sheet and chill for at least 1 hour.

Pour enough canola oil in a large, heavy skillet to reach a depth of 1/4 inch. Heat oil over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add patties to the skillet. Fry until golden brown and cooked through, about 3-4 minutes per side. Remove patties with a slotted spoon and transfer to a plate lined with paper towel to drain.

Serve warm or room temperature with a dollop of Greek yogurt.

The Review:
I'm not sure what went wrong during the process, but as soon as my keftedes hit the oil most of them disintegrated. Perhaps my mixture needed more binder, more panko and egg than the recipe called for. Or perhaps I hadn't drained the zucchini well enough before combining all of the ingredients.

Those that remained intact were lovely. Nothing special really in my book...but tasty. The flavor was incredibly reminiscent of something else I had tried. It took me awhile to place the flavor as the quinoa, dill and feta salad I had transformed into patties in an earlier recipe. Given the amount of time and flavor of the finished product...I much preferred the quinoa, zucchini and dill patties.

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