baking powder, carrots, cornmeal, eggs, garlic, Greek-style yogurt, herbs, lemon juice, lemon zest, maple sugar, milk, parmesan cheese, rice flour, scallions, shishito peppers, vegetable oil, zucchini
I love fritters. They’re a great way to use veggies. They’re a great way to use up leftover veggies and they’re fried. And anything fried is just better. Face it. It’s true. You know it’s true. These babies are crispy on the outside and sort of soft and almost creamy on the inside. And they’re gluten-free. I love the way rice flour crisps when fried and then holds its crispiness. I was going to use part wheat flour, part rice flour in an attempt to achieve that crispiness. Then, I got to wondering if I really needed the wheat flour. Why not use cornmeal instead? It does give you a bit of grittiness in the finished fritter, but it wasn’t unpleasant. Actually, I rather like it.
I used zucchini and carrots, because that’s what I had lounging around in my crisper drawer. I used scallions, instead of regular onions, because they emit less liquid. I had a couple of shishito peppers, so I decided to chop them up and toss those in, too. If you have some leftover green beans, dice them up and toss them in. Same thing with corn kernels. You’ll want about 2 cups of veggies in total.
I think next time I will add some shredded cheddar, with the parmesan. Make certain to use plenty of black pepper. It really does make a different.
This goes together quickly, but remember to leave time to allow the batter rest. I put the wet ingredients together in a bowl. Whisk the batter up until it’s smooth. You don’t need to worry about over-mixing, since there’s no gluten. I just place the flour, cornmeal, and baking powder on top. I use a table fork to mix the baking powder into the flours. Then, just fold everything together. I thought the batter looked okay, so I let it stand for about 20 minutes. After I gave it a good stir, I thought it was a bit too thin. I stirred in 2 tablespoons rice flour; the batter should form soft mounds. When you ready to fry, heat the oil, about 1/2-inch, in your handy, dandy cast iron skillet. I heat the oil until I just see a little wisp of smoke, then immediately turn the burner down to just below high. Drop a good tablespoon into the hot oil. I put four fritters in the skillet, but don’t crowd them. I let them fry until they begin to brown around the edges, about 1 1/2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, gently turn the fritters, being careful not to splash, so the hot oil doesn’t splash on you. Third degree burns tend to be a bit of a downer! Drain the fritters well. I served them with some marinara and good squeeze of fresh lemon.
I think some diced pepperoni tossed in could be interesting. I might do that next time around. Time will tell.
Crispy Zucchini—Carrot Parmesan Fritters
- 1/3 cup plain Greek-style yogurt (I use full-fat)
- 2 tablespoons whole milk, more as needed
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- 1 carrot, grated (about 3/4 cup)
- 1 zucchini, grated (about 1 cup)
- 2 shishito peppers, chopped (optional)
- 4 scallions, finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, finely grated
- 1/2 cup white rice flour, more as needed
- 6-8 tablespoons very finely ground cornmeal
- 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon chopped mint, basil, or dill (optional)
- 2 teaspoons maple sugar (or brown sugar)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, more for serving
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground peppercorns (I used mixed peppercorns)
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- Marinara sauce, for dipping
- Lemon wedges, for service
To make the fritter batter: In a large bowl, whisk together the yogurt, milk, eggs, lemon juice, and lemon zest, until smooth. Batter should be slightly thicker than heavy cream. Stir in the carrot, zucchini, garlic, scallions. Add the rice flour, cornmeal, cheese, herbs, baking powder, maple sugar and salt and pepper. Stir until the mixture just comes together. If the batter is too thick, add some milk; if it’s too thin, sprinkle with additional rice flour. Allow to rest for 30 minutes.
While the batter rests, line a cookie sheet with paper towels; set aside.
Pour about 1/2-inch of oil in a cast iron skillet; heat until the temperature is just short of smoking. Test by dropping a small drip of batter into the oil and it browns immediately. Working in batches, gently drop batter by the tablespoon into the oil. Do not to overcrowd the pan. Fry, turning once (use caution not to let the oil splash!), until golden all over, about 2-3 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer fritters to the cookie sheet to drain. Serve with heated, seasoned tomato sauce and lemon wedges.
NOTE: If you don’t have shishito peppers, just omit them or add other hot peppers. Diced, well-drained, pickled jalapeño peppers can work, as well.
Crispy Zucchini—Carrot Parmesan Fritters Recipe©Marcia Lahens 2017. All rights reserved.
I will definitely be making these fritter again. I think corn and bacon might be a nice addition and any number of herbs and spices, could be interesting. Why not add some diced ham? Oh, the possibilities….