I know, I know: enough with the squash already, woman! My only response is to humbly ask that you remind me, next year, in the event that my gentleman friend and I plant separate gardens again, to not both plant summer squash. On paper, in my garden notebook, it seemed a great idea to proudly only include native, heirloom varieties in my own garden, turning my nose up at the plain ol’ crooknecks Ben was planting. Now it’s summer, and I’ve got a changed heart and an armful of squash.
So! More squash.
It might seem a bit blasphemous to make “fritters” without actually frying anything, but I played around with this one awhile and baking at a high temperature seems the best way to go. I like pan-frying things, I really do. Here, though, I just couldn’t seem to slake the zucchini’s thirst for oil. It seemed to keep on soaking it up, and never browning to the crispy finish I envisioned.
The cornmeal in these gives them some old-style Southern appeal. If you, like me, are a sucker for any food with a fun-to-say name (I recently discovered the “pan-dowdy”–even if it weren’t so good, it’s worth making for the sheer pleasure of announcing that you are making a pan-dowdy), then these are for you.
Put on your best Virginia drawl when they’re done, perhaps reading some Tennessee Williams for inspiration, and call out something along the lines of, “Land sakes! It’s hotter’n an’oven in this kitchen, but at least the fritters are on the table.” Fan yourself for effect. If you’re channelling Scarlett O’Hara, perhaps cry out for someone to fetch you your smelling salts, but I wouldn’t count on anyone actually bringing them to you.
Not that I actually tried that.
You will need
- 2 cups grated summer squash (I used zucchini, you could use yellow squash, too)
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup cornmeal
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Press the squash between layers of a clean tea towel to get rid of excess moisture. In a bowl, mix all the ingredients together. It should form a sticky mass. If at first it seems dry, continue to stir—the salt will cause the zucchini to ‘sweat’, and it will get wetter.
Drop heaping spoonfuls onto the parchment paper, and then flatten with the spoon to form 2-3 inch rounds. You don’t want these to be very thick, as we want them to crisp up.
Bake for 15 minutes or so, until the fritters are deep golden brown on the bottom. Then broil on high for 2-3 minutes, until the fritters are completely crunchy on the outside, and still give a bit on the inside.