Zucchini, a summer squash with Italian origins, has been gracing our tables for centuries. Its versatility in the culinary world is nothing short of legendary. From pasta dishes to zesty salads, this humble vegetable has found its way into countless recipes. Today, we dive into the world of Crispy Parmesan Zucchini Fritters, a delightful appetizer that marries the subtle sweetness of zucchini with the savory richness of Parmesan cheese.
The history of zucchini can be traced back to Italy, where it was first cultivated. However, it wasn’t until the late 19th century that it made its way to North America. Zucchinis were initially known as “Italian Marrows” and gained popularity for their tender flesh and mild flavor. Today, they have become a staple in gardens and kitchens worldwide.
1. Prepare the Zucchinis:
Start by washing and trimming the ends of the zucchinis. Using a box grater, grate the zucchinis into a large mixing bowl.
2. Drain Excess Moisture:
Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of salt over the grated zucchini and toss to combine. Let it sit for about 10 minutes. This will draw out excess moisture from the zucchini. After 10 minutes, place the grated zucchini in a clean kitchen towel or paper towels and squeeze out as much liquid as possible.
3. Combine Ingredients:
Return the squeezed zucchini to the mixing bowl. Add the grated Parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese, minced garlic, chopped basil leaves, all-purpose flour, beaten eggs, black pepper, and red pepper flakes (if using). Mix everything together until well combined.
4. Heat Olive Oil:
In a non-stick skillet, heat a generous amount of olive oil over medium-high heat. You’ll want enough oil to cover the bottom of the skillet generously.
5. Fry the Fritters:
Once the oil is hot (you can test it by dropping a small piece of the zucchini mixture into the oil; it should sizzle), carefully scoop about a tablespoon of the zucchini mixture and gently drop it into the hot oil. Flatten it slightly with the back of your spoon. Repeat, leaving some space between each fritter to ensure even cooking.
6. Cook to Golden Perfection:
Fry the fritters for about 2-3 minutes on each side or until they turn golden brown and crispy. Use a slotted spatula to carefully flip them over.
7. Drain and Serve:
As the fritters finish cooking, remove them from the skillet and place them on a plate lined with paper towels to drain any excess oil.
8. Serve and Enjoy:
Serve the Crispy Parmesan Zucchini Fritters hot, garnished with additional fresh basil leaves if desired. They make a fantastic appetizer or a side dish to complement any meal.
Crispy Parmesan Zucchini Fritters are a delectable way to celebrate the flavors of summer. This dish perfectly balances the mild, slightly sweet zucchini with the salty richness of Parmesan cheese, creating a satisfying crunch with every bite. Whether you serve them as an appetizer, a snack, or a side dish, these fritters are sure to become a favorite in your kitchen, carrying on the tradition of zucchinis that have delighted palates for centuries. Enjoy!