Zucchini-Corn Fritters

Over the course of the past few summers, I’ve seen countless recipes for zucchini fritters, but I never felt compelled to try them. I don’t really know why – I mean what’s not to like about coating your veggies in batter and frying them? Maybe it’s because they reminded me of savory pancakes, which I’ve never been crazy about. Whatever the reason, the simple addition of sweet summer corn to the mix was apparently exactly what was needed to pique my interest. I wanted to run to the kitchen and get cooking as soon as I saw this recipe!

As luck would have it, I opened the fridge and found both zucchini and corn on hand, so I didn’t have to wait long to make these fritters. I tried to convince Shane they’d be a fun side dish to go with dinner one night, but he was not easily persuaded. I should know by now he finds veggies equally unappealing in all their various forms. So instead, I whipped the fritters up for myself as a late lunch on a lazy Sunday afternoon recently.

Zucchini-Corn Fritters

The process was both easier and less time consuming than I expected. Onion, garlic and the corn are briefly cooked on the stove top to soften (though the corn retains plenty of its crisp freshness) then combined with the zucchini and just a handful of additional ingredients to complete the batter. And while the fritters are fried, it’s not your traditional deep frying in a huge pot of oil. A thin layer of oil will do the trick, making the clean-up much, much easier.

I didn’t even get the second fritter out of the oil before I grabbed a fork and dug into the first. It was golden brown and crisp on the outside with a tender, flavorful interior. Since the zucchini is so mild in flavor, the corn really shines. I served these zucchini-corn fritters with a dollop of Greek yogurt and a few chives on top to make one of my favorite lunches of the summer!

Zucchini-Corn Fritters

Zucchini-Corn Fritters
from Food Network

{Note: This recipe can be halved, I wound up with 7 fritters when I did.}

2 medium zucchini, shredded
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
2 ears corn, kernels cut off
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 large egg
canola oil, for frying

In a small bowl, toss the shredded zucchini with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Set aside for 10 minutes, then wrap in a clean kitchen towel and squeeze to release excess moisture. Set aside.

Add the butter to a large nonstick skillet set over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add the onion and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onion has softened, about 4 minutes. Stir in the corn and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes – the corn should retain some of its crispness. Remove the pan from the heat.

In a medium bowl, whisk the cornmeal, flour, baking soda, 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. In a second bowl, whisk the buttermilk and egg together until well combined. Add the corn and onion mixture as well as the zucchini, and stir to incorporate. Add the cornmeal mixture, mixing just until everything comes together.

Add enough oil to the large nonstick skillet to come to a depth of about 1/8 inch. Set over medium heat. When the oil is hot, drop the batter into the pan using a 1/4 cup measure. Use the back of the measuring cup to flatten the batter into a round. Cook for about 3-4 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain and sprinkle with salt while still hot. Repeat with remaining batter (you may need to add additional oil as you get to the last few).

(Note: you can make these fritters up to 2 hours ahead of time. Reheat them in a 375 F oven on a wire rack set inside of a baking sheet.)

Makes about 14-15 fritters