French cuisine is full of all manner of fritter, sweet and savoury. Not surprising from a country that brought us the beignet. As a fritter and pancake aficionado, I had long been throwing vegetables into a seasoned batter before I began concocting recipes for one of my favourite variations–the zucchini fritter.
Some dishes are more rooted to certain regions in France than others. The cuisine of the Languedoc-Roussillon, a coastal region in the southeast, is characterized by earthy Mediterranean flavours; tomatoes, eggplant, and zucchini are vegetables featured in many of its dishes.
I have become more and more interested in looking at French cuisine in a regional way, as I have found that there is much that differs between the 21 regions of modern day France–22 if you include Corsica. Each province has its own distinct culture and culinary specialties and I plan on writing more about this in upcoming posts. So stay tuned!
These zucchini fritters are simple to make but utterly delicious. I have served them as an appetizer, a first course, or with a main dish. Most of the time I scarf them down as I stand over the stove, frying them up.
Zucchini is a very watery vegetable; to avoid a fritter that won’t stay together and makes a mess in the pan, be sure to get rid of the excess water by squeezing the grated zucchini in a tea towel. Don’t be afraid to experiment by adding Parmesan cheese or other bits of vegetable.
I have even made these gluten free at times by using corn meal instead of the flour.
1 pound (500g) zucchini, grated
1/2 onion , grated
1/3 cup (75g) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 large egg
olive oil, for frying
1) Squeeze the excess water out of the grated onion and zucchini. Combine in a large bowl with flour, salt, pepper and the egg.
2) Heat about a tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Drop spoonfulls of the zucchini mixture into the oil and press down with a spatula, leaving a space of about 1 inch in between the fritters. Fry on each side until golden, about 5-7 minutes. Continue to fry zucchini mixture in batches, adding more oil as necessary.
3) Line a plate with paper towels. Transfer fritters to plate and keep in a warmed oven until you are finished frying up all of the zucchini mixture.
4) Sprinkle with coarse sea salt and serve with a dollop of creme fraiche if desired.