Zucchini and asparagus Fritters with feta
Zucchini and asparagus Fritters with feta
Zucchini and asparagus fritters with feta are a seasonal twist on the well-known Greek dish “kolokithokeftedes”, zucchini patties. Essentially the Greek mezze dish is a fried mixture of grated zucchini, herbs, feta, eggs and flour. You will fall in love with this recipe as fritters are so herby, aromatic and can adapt them to serve for breakfast, as a light meal or even as a side dish. They are so addictive!
Asparagus and Zucchini
Asparagus is in season right now! Crisp and full of flavour as well as nutrients. I wanted to include the asparagus in these zucchini fritters as they give texture and a bit of a bite to the otherwise soft patty. Choose asparagus that is firm and remove the woody ends before slicing them to add to the mixture.
If you’re looking for a low carb option, zucchini is definitely on the top of that list. Very versatile in the ways you can enjoy them from boiled with black eyed peas, as a stew, fried/baked with eggs, added in chocolate cakes to even spiraled raw for pasta. Soon zucchini will be in season and taste at its best! And zucchini flowers will be in full bloom, which I am really looking forward to.
Herbs and spices
The zucchini and asparagus fritters are super aromatic due to the combination of herbs and spices. They include fresh dill, fresh coriander (may substitute with fresh parsley), sumac and pepper. Sumac is a pink/purplish tangy spice, derived from the fruit of a shrub that is native to the Middle Eastern regions. It acts as a souring agent in many meals and I typically add it in salads, omelets or even on my crispy skin baked salmon fillets. If you do not have sumac you can add a bit of lemon juice.
Greek feta and other cheese options
Goat’s and sheep’s feta is the traditional tangy Greek cheese popular among many and easily accessible at supermarkets. For the recipe below I used the Greek imported feta, Dodoni. The brined cheese adds to the salty flavour of these zucchini and asparagus fritters. I tested a few other combinations to try to get the depth of flavour but also a more creamy texture. Instead of feta you may also add grated parmesan cheese for the extra sharpness and some cottage or ricotta cheese. As the latter are wetter than feta I needed more flour than the recipe below. For 250g of cottage cheese plus 60g grated parmesan I added 120g of plain flour.
Below are some of my tips when preparing these zucchini and asparagus fritters to get the best results:
1. Zucchinis have high water content hence the water needs to be released so that the fritters are not soggy and will need less flour added to them. To do so you need to sprinkle salt over the grated zucchini which you place in a sieve lined with a chux cloth. The osmotic pressure will expel the water in the zucchini. After 15min a lot of water will be released but you also need to squeeze the zucchini to release as much as possible.
2. For the fritters to hold well it’s important to allow the mixture to rest for 10-15min before frying. The flour will be able to bind the rest of the ingredients as it absorbs the excess liquids.
3. The frying pan needs to warm up enough so that the mixture actually fries and does not stew. Firstly I typically warm up the pan on high heat and before I add the mixture I lower the heat to medium. That way the mixture doesn’t burn but it is hot enough to start browning and frying the fritters.
4. You can substitute the sliced asparagus with frozen corn or peas if you like. Just defrost them by adding them in a bowl with hot water for 5min. Strain to remove the excess water and then add them to the mixture.
5. For a quicker preparation on the day you wish to cook them, you may also mix all the ingredients except the egg and flour into a bowl, cover and place in the fridge. Then the next day simply mix in the eggs and flour, allow the mixture to rest and cook the fritters.
6. If you want to make extras to have another day then you can also freeze the zucchini and asparagus fritters. Simply add them in zip lock bags with baking paper in between each one. When you want to eat them thaw in the fridge overnight or in the microwave on the day and heat them up in the oven or quickly in the frying pan.
How to serve
These zucchini and asparagus fritters are quite light. They don’t taste doughy at all as the amount of flour added is just enough to help bind the ingredients together. Classically a squeeze of lemon is all that they need to enjoy as a mezze. However, these are also great with a herby yoghurt sauce but also topped with a soft boiled egg, smoked salmon or even bacon for breakfast.
For more breakfast creations, traditional and non, check out this link!
Zucchini and asparagus fritters with feta
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Resting time 15 mins
Servings: 12 fritters
• 450 g zucchini, 2 large zucchini
• 1 ¼ tsp salt
• 12 green asparagus, 200g
• 3 sprigs of green onion, 110g, washed and dried
• 15 sprigs fresh dill, washed and dried
• 15 sprigs fresh coriander, washed and dried
• 200 g feta, crumbled
• 90 g plain flour, 4 heaped tbs
• 2 large eggs
• 2 tsp sumac
• 2 tsp dry mint
• ½ tsp black pepper
• Extra virgin olive for frying
1. Grate the zucchini and sprinkle the salt all over it. Line a sieve with a chux cloth, over a bowl. Place the salted zucchini in the chux cloth and set it aside for 15min. If you do not have a chux cloth just place it in the sieve and use your hands later on to squeeze out the liquid.
2. Meanwhile prepare the other ingredients. Remove the woody ends of the asparagus and the roots of the dill and coriander. Finely chop the asparagus, green onion, dill and coriander. Once the zucchini is ready, wrap it in the chux cloth and squeeze out all the excess liquid.
3. Combine all the ingredients together in a bowl and set aside for 10-15min so that they combine. In the meantime heat a large frying pan to high heat. Once the fritter mix has rested, reduce the heat to a medium and add a thin layer of extra virgin olive oil.
4. Scoop 1/3 cup or 2 heaped tablespoons of the mixture into the frying pan and use the back of the spoon to flatten each one into a large circle. 12 fritters are made this way. You may choose to make them smaller depending on how you want to serve them.
5. Fry for 5min on each side and repeat the process until all the mixture is done. Serve it with a soft boiled egg and smoked salmon for breakfast or with a salad and herbed yoghurt for a light lunch.