Zucchini and corn are a favorite summer duo. Here, fresh corn kernels add flavor and texture to fritters. Akin to latkes or other savory fried rounds, these rustic little patties make a satisfying summer nibble on the patio before dinner or as a side to grilled chicken or fish. Begin by tossing shredded zucchini with salt in a colander and letting it sit for an hour to release much of its water. With your hands, squeeze out any remaining liquid. This concentrates the flavor and helps the fritter batter from becoming too wet. While you’re waiting, stir loads of fresh basil and hot cherry peppers into mayonnaise to make a spicy sauce.
Make a batter with the zucchini, sauteed corn and onions, and Parmesan, all held together with eggs, panko breadcrumbs, and flour. Add dollops of batter to hot oil in a skillet and smash them lightly. The key is to wait until the rounds have browned sufficiently on one side before turning. The fritters are quite delicate; darker patties will be easier to flip and have a nutty flavor and crisp texture. They are best eaten hot; keep them warm in a low oven until you’re ready to serve them with the mayo. The patio table never looked this good.
Zucchini-corn fritters with spicy basil mayo
|½||cup chopped fresh basil|
|1||clove garlic, finely chopped|
|2||pickled hot cherry peppers, chopped|
|Grated rind and juice of 1 lemon|
|Salt and black pepper, to taste|
1. In a bowl, combine the basil, garlic, hot peppers, lemon rind and juice, and mayonnaise. Stir well.
2. Add salt and pepper and taste for seasoning. Add more lemon, salt, or pepper, if you like. Cover and refrigerate.
|4||large zucchini, shredded|
|2||tablespoons kosher salt, and more to taste|
|2||tablespoons olive oil|
|2||cloves garlic, finely chopped|
|2||ears fresh corn, kernels removed|
|1½||cups panko breadcrumbs|
|1||cup shredded Parmesan|
|Black pepper, to taste|
|½||cup vegetable oil|
1. In a colander, toss zucchini with the 2 tablespoons salt. Place the colander over a bowl. Let it sit for 1 hour to drain. Squeeze with your hands to remove any remaining water.
2. Set the oven at 200 degrees.
3. In a skillet over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and garlic. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Add the corn and cook 2 minutes more. Transfer to a large bowl. With paper towels, wipe out the skillet.
4. To the bowl of onions, add the zucchini, eggs, panko, flour, Parmesan, a pinch of salt, and black pepper. Stir well.
5. Set a metal cooling rack inside a rimmed baking sheet.
6. In the skillet over medium-high heat, heat ¼ cup of the vegetable oil. Working in batches, drop the batter in 2 tablespoon mounds and flatten lightly. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes on the first side, or until browned on the bottom sides and firm enough to turn. Turn and cook the other sides for 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to the metal rack and keep warm in the oven. Use the remaining batter to fry more fritters, adding the remaining ¼ cup vegetable oil to the skillet when needed.
7. Serve hot with the spicy mayo. Karoline Boehm Goodnick