Zucchini Fritters with Feta & Dill

August 19, 2015

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Hooray! It’s zucchini time! Yup…that most delicious of summer squashes is here in abundance now. We love, love, love it around here. One zucchini feast after another. So hold onto your hats…I’m going to be sharing quite a few of the recipes we’ve been enjoying. I’m starting today off with a fantastic one for Zucchini Fritters with Feta & Dill.

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Now I just knew this one was going to be a winner. I already told you how we feel about zucchini and I’m pretty certain I  can also say I’ve never really met a fritter that I didn’t like. But I will admit, sometimes fritters can be a bit on the heavy side. Maybe not something you want to indulge in when your fairly wilted from all the hot and steamy summery temps. Well, that is why I’m so excited to share this with you. These Zucchini Fritters will not “weigh you down”. Far from it. They are wonderfully light a fresh. They will have you at the first bite – which is truly amazing. They have a crispy crunchy exterior which covers a delightfully creamy salty center. The scallion, dill, feta & zucchini combo is just the perfect summery taste sensation.

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They are great as appetizers, or as a side dish to some grilled meat or even as a light Meatless Monday meal. We enjoyed ours with a dollop of Tzatziki sauce, but they are also delicious all on their own. They come together pretty quickly (just make sure to get rid of as much of the liquid the zucchini releases as you can, otherwise you won’t get as much of that crispy factor as you want.) and are good hot off the griddle or even at room temperature. Believe me folks, you don’t want to miss out on this dish, so get out there, grab some of those zucchinis and make up a batch of these today!

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Zucchini Fritters with Feta & Dill

  • Servings: 12 Fritters
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

recipe from: Once Upon a Chef

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound zucchini (about 2 medium), trimmed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • scallions, minced
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh dill
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 medium garlic clove, minced or pressed through a garlic press
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup corn starch or all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • Lemon wedges, for serving
  • Tzatziki Sauce, for serving

Directions:

Shred the zucchini on the large holes of a box grater or in a food processor fitted with the shredding disk. Transfer the zucchini to a fine mesh strainer and set over a bowl. Toss the zucchini with the salt and let it sit for 10 minutes. Wring all of the excess liquid out of the zucchini with your hands, or in a clean dish towel or even paper towels. Just make sure you get as much of that water out as possible, then set aside.

Beat the eggs in a large bowl. Mix in the dried zucchini, scallions, dill, feta, garlic and black pepper. Sprinkle the corn starch and baking powder over mixture and stir until uniformly incorporated.

Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Drop 2-tablespoon sized portions into the pan, then use the back of a spoon to gently press the batter into 2-inch-wide fritters. Pan-fry until golden brown on both sides, 2-3 minutes per side. Transfer the fritters to a paper towel-lined plate. Wipe the skillet clean with paper towels. Return the skillet to medium heat, add the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil, and repeat with remaining batter. Serve warm or room temperature with lemon wedges and tzatziki sauce if desired.

Tzatziki Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup greek yogurt
  • 1 cup English cucumber, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons dill, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • black pepper to taste

Directions:

Mix all ingredients together and chill until ready to serve.

Enjoy!

Zucchini Fritters with Feta & Dill brought to you by: Runcible Temps (www.leaandjay.com)

 

 

 


Italian Lentil Salad over Crusty Mozzarella Toasts

February 1, 2014

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This Italian Lentil Salad, spooned generously over toasted crusty bread topped with melted fresh mozzarella, may have kept me alive last week. I kid you not. This meal is so incredibly hearty and delicious, it kept me going on the night that our furnace gave up the ghost and the temperature outside plunged to a bone-chilling 8° F (-13° C). Yup…Oh and the wind chill made it feel like 1°F (-17° C). Well, it didn’t get that cold here inside, but I was really freaking out that it would get just cold enough that all the pipes in the house would burst. Just two days before hand we had been dealing with a frozen sewer pipe. Needless to say, tension was running high around here that night. Luckily we had a gas fireplace in the living room that we were able to huddle around and big servings of Italian Lentil Salad which helped to not only warm us but to also fortify our souls for what further, yet unknown calamities were certainly lurking right around the frigid corner. And I should also mention that we had a big bottle of wine (or two) that perhaps helped to sooth our cold shattered nerves!

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I am happy to report that not only did we survive the most recent arctic blast unscathed, but our pipes held out like champs! Normally a big fan of Winter, this Virginia winter has proven quite bizarre for me. We have endured multiple days of temperatures which were only able climb to a high of 20° F (-6° C), and you can imagine where they headed once the sun went down.  However, even thought the temperatures are lingering in the polar vicinity, we haven’t had much snow (which I actually like), just the glacial cold. I was visiting Iceland in December and believe it or not, I feel I need to return if only to warm up! So it seems good old Virginia has become a land of the extremes; sweltering, miserable humid and sweaty summers followed up by bitter, raw Siberian winters. Hmmm….

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Frozen Virginia Vista

That most famous of groundhogs, Punxsutawney Phil, is scheduled to make his yearly appearance on Sunday.

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The critter himself!

I never thought I’d say it, but I hope he does not see his shadow and Winter is over. I do declare that with some trepidation because even though it was cold, and I do mean somewhat glacial, without a furnace the other night, I was able to put on enough layers and pile on enough blankets that I was comfortable. If not for my extreme dread over burst pipes, all would have been well. However, it is often so hot here when it does deign to “warm up” that I can’t get comfortable, no matter how nekkid (that’s a word right?) I get.

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Thinking back to those steamy Virginia summers, that is when I originally found this recipe on Pinch of Yum ( I did modify it somewhat). You see, I had planted an incredibly over active cherry tomato plant and was scouring the intertubes (my word for worldwide web) for recipes in which I could use my bumper crop. I made this salad quite a few times back then. Mind you, since we were at the opposite end on thermometer from where we are now, I served it cold, as a side salad, or sometimes over a bed of lettuce or if I was on the go, rolled it into a wrap. No matter which way I served it, it was absolutely delicious and refreshing. So, there you have it. This gem of a recipe is very versatile temperature wise and it certainly must be good for you, chock full of lentils, bulgur wheat and veggies as it is. No meat in sight. It will not only delightfully satisfy your hunger, but will also even allow you to feel somewhat virtuous as you tuck into a big plate of it. You really should add this one to your recipe box. You never know, it might just save your life!

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Italian Lentil Salad

recipe adapted from: Pinch of Yum

yield: 8 – 10 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dry green (brown) lentils
  • ½ cup dry light bulgur
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • 3-4 cups fresh tomatoes, chopped
  • 6-8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinaigrette
  • 1/4 grated parmesan cheese
  • handful of fresh basil, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • fresh mozzarella, sliced
  • toasted slices of crusty bread

Instructions:

Cook the lentils and the bulgur according to directions, using vegetable/chicken broth instead of water. When cooked, combine and set aside.

Saute the onion in the olive oil until it softens a bit and then add the tomatoes and garlic to the pan. Saute over low heat for 15 minutes or until the tomatoes and garlic are soft and fragrant. Remove from heat. Add the lentils, bulgur, basil and parmesan to the pan and stir to combine.

Season with dressing and salt and pepper. Serve hot or cold.

If serving over toasted bread, toast bread slices. Place slices of fresh mozzarella on toasted bread slices and stick under broiler until cheese is melted. Top bread slices with heaping spoonfuls of warm lentil salad.

Enjoy!

P.S. Thanks to all you folks out there reading my blog! I have been at the food blogging thing for 3 years on February 1st and am so thankful anyone is actually paying attention! I hope I can continue to inspire you with my culinary adventures in the upcoming year.


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