Zucchini Fritters with Homemade Tzatziki

First, the tzatziki recipe. I am going to make an exception to my no-recipe-posting policy this time around, as this particular recipe is both very traditional and already all over the internet (it was one of the ones released to the media for promotional purposes at the time of publication).

Vefa’s Tzatziki

Excellent with bread, vegetable fritters, meatballs or crudités.

3 cups plain yogurt
1 long, thin cucumber, peeled chopped
3-4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
¼ tsp salt
3-4 Tbsp olive oil
3 Tbsp finely chopped fresh dill

1. Line a colander with cheesecloth (muslin) or a double thickness of paper towels and spoon the yogurt into it. Let drain over a bowl in the refrigerator for about 6 hours.

2. Transfer the strained yogurt from the strainer to a bowl. Stir in the cucumber, garlic, salt and oil. Cover and chill.

3. Serve in a shallow bowl, sprinkled with the dill.

This makes enough to serve a whole family, all week! I’ve been putting tzatziki on everything.

And now, a photo essay featuring Vefa’s easy and popular Zucchini Fritters. Eric loved these, and they were actually pretty easy to make. I used my fine hand grater to quickly turn four large zucchini into a pile of fresh, green zucchini “pasta” (turns out, that mandoline I bought for this purpose is totally unnecessary!):

Then I added the other usual suspects for any kind of fritter: flour, breadcrumbs, and eggs, plus Greek herbs and a little cheese.

After stirring that up and letting it sit in the fridge for a while, I fried the patties in a mixture of half butter and half olive oil. The recipe, like most in Vefa’s Kitchen, calls only for olive oil, but I prefer to cut the olive oil with butter do the former’s low smoke point, which makes it less than ideal for deep frying. As long as your olive oil isn’t smoking (and is therefore at less than about 320°F), it’s actually fine to fry in, but if you are more concerned about your budget than the cholesterol content of your meal, doing half and half is a good solution, all around.

Having had rather bad luck with most of my previous attempts at fritters and latkes, I was very pleased with these little guys! It was time consuming, considering I don’t have a deep fat fryer, but half the time was spent waiting on tzatziki to chill and the zucchini to drain, then solidify with the breadcrumbs, etc. Overall, this recipe was fun and easy, and felt like a real treat! And the tzatziki made it. I will definitely be making this again.

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