If you’re ever invited to dinner at my house, there’s at least a 30% chance that you’ll be eating this dish. It’s my go-to meal when I’m cooking for someone for the first time, and especially when zucchini is taking over my garden - like right now! The original recipe came from the Imus Ranch cookbook, but I’ve modified it substantially over the years to meet my evolving dietary needs and preferences. It’s not easy being a gluten-free vegetarian who doesn’t like garlic and onions, but I’m determined to create amazing meals that don’t feel like they’re missing something!
I usually make a pretty big batch of these (this recipe is enough for 6-8 people), because they go quickly, and they’re great for lunch the next day. I often make a double batch of the sauce, because, well, I could do shots of this sauce with no other food on the table. You can dress a kale salad with it, dip celery in it, or pour it over noodles and add fresh tomatoes. It’s fresh, non-garlicky, green-goddess goodness.
To make the fritter batter (first say that a few times fast), combine the following in a large bowl:
4 cups grated, drained zucchini*
2 cups gluten-free bread crumbs
1 ½ cups grated cheddar cheese (or soy/almond cheese if you prefer)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
4 tablespoons mayonnaise (regular or vegan)
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
2 teaspoons worcestershire sauce
4 tablespoons olive oil
Mix well to combine and set aside, covered. (I mix it with my hands to smoosh the liquid texture into the GF breadcrumbs - they’re a little tougher than regular breadcrumbs.)
*To prep the zucchini, I use a rectangular grater on the fine side rather than a food processor because I find that the more delicate texture holds together better in the frying pan. After grating, place the zucchini in a strainer in the sink and sprinkle about a teaspoon of fine sea salt on it, mixing it with your hands. Let zucchini sit for 20-30 minutes and press the water out of it occasionally.
To make the sauce, combine the following in a blender, preferably a Vitamix or other high-speed blender:
¾ block of tofu (silken gives the best texture, but regular tofu works too)
½ cup of mayonnaise
¼ cup plain yogurt
Juice of one lemon
4-5 stalks of celery
Handful of parsley
Small handful of dill
1 teaspoon tamari sauce
Pinch of sea salt
A few turns of fresh pepper
Blend until completely smooth.
To make the fritters, heat a few tablespoons of olive or sunflower oil in a large skillet. Once hot, shape some of the fritter batter (frittterbatterfritterbatterfritterbatter) into a patty in your hands and place it gently in the pan. Leave an inch or so between patties so you can turn them with a spatula. Cook them on one side until the bottom is a beautiful golden brown, and then flip and repeat on the other side. Place them on paper towels to cool and serve warm, or at room temperature. I like to place them on a bed of greens (arugula is especially delish) and spoon a generous helping of the green sauce over them.
I hope these become as loved in your home as they are in mine!
With love and fritter batter from us to you,