This second to last week of August is always about the time I start to get sad that summer is nearly over. My garden is producing less and less, the sun is setting earlier and I know fall and winter are just around the corner. To be honest though, with living in Southern California, it is hard to remember all of that. We’ve still been having 90 degree days and the sun has been shining like crazy. But in looking at my garden and our various fruit trees, seeing many of them nearing the end of their cycles, I am reminded the next season is nearly upon us.
My veggie garden has been a source of so much joy and great food for us this summer, but it has also been a source of much frustration for me. I am still learning how to garden out west, it is so much different than it was in New York. With the lack of rain plus watering restrictions due to the draught, I struggle to remember to water my garden in the proper times. What ends up happening is it gets watered every few days. Somehow the weeds are all growing at alarming rates, they are taking over in fact, while my vegetable plants have moments of looking like they could just keel over and die at any moment.
Thankfully, though they are both slowing down significantly, I am still getting a decent amount of heirloom zucchini and heirloom tomatoes from our garden. Two things I could never tire of. So, I have been trying to get creative and come up with fun new ways to enjoy them.
These crispy Grain-free Zucchini Fritters are so simple to make and they are so beautifully complimented by the fresh and flavorful Roasted Garlic and Heirloom Tomato Compote. To me this is just summer in one perfect dish!
I cannot actually tell you the last time I fried anything, it has been since well before we moved to California last March, so it was more than time to get my fry on. I am sure I could have come up with a way to bake these, but some things are best served with a little crispy crunch and these fritters are certainly one of them.
These fritters are great as a quick bite, as an appetizer or snack, served with a salad or a main entree for a meal, or for a real treat, we served some of the leftovers with a fried egg on top. The perfect end-of-summer breakfast.
[print_this]Grain-free Zucchini Fritters with Roasted Heirloom Tomato and Garlic Compote
Makes about 10-12 fritters
- 1 1/2 lbs zucchini (about 2 medium-sized), coarsely grated
- 1 teaspoon course sea salt
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1/4 cup blanched almond flour
- 1 tablespoon tapioca starch (arrowroot, potato or corn starch will also work)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- oil of your choice for frying, I recommend ghee, lard or coconut oil
Add shredded zucchini to a colander and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon sea salt. Allow it to drain for 10-15 minutes. After it has drained, squeeze the shredded zucchini in a nut milk bag, cheese cloth, clean kitchen towel or paper towels. You will be surprised how much liquid comes out. Keep squeezing until you’ve got as much liquid out as possible, this will save you from sad, soggy fritters.
In a large bowl whisk the egg, then add the zucchini, almond flour, tapioca starch, baking powder, black pepper and scallions. Mix well to combine.
Over a medium-high heat a few tablespoons of your oil in a large skillet, I love using my cast iron skillet. Using about 2 tablespoons of the zucchini mixture, quickly make a small fritter and then drop it into the oil, you’ll want to cook these in at least 2 batches, you don’t want to over crowd the pan. Flatten the fritters out with the back of a spatula and cook for 3 to 5 minutes until golden brown on the underside. Carefully flip and cook the other side another 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a paper-towel lined cooling rack. Sprinkle with a little sea salt.
Repeat with the remaining batter, you may need to add more oil to the skillet.
Serve immediately topped with this warm roasted garlic and heirloom tomato and garlic compote, sour cream or yogurt. [/print_this]
to make vegan use a flax egg in place of the egg (mix 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed with 3 tablespoons water)
If you are making a very large batch of fritters, keep the finished fried fritters in a 200ºF oven to stay warm, while you cook the remaining.
[print_this]Roasted Garlic and Heirloom Tomato Compote
- 2 lbs heirloom cherry tomatoes, halved
- 3 whole cloves garlic, peeled
- 3 tablespoons Terra Delyssa Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1/4 cup fresh basil
Preheat oven to 375ºF. Arrange the tomatoes in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet, add the whole garlic cloves. Drizzle the olive oil over top and toss it all to combine and coat it all well with the oil. Sprinkle a little sea salt and freshly ground black pepper overtop.
Roast for 25-30 minutes, until the tomatoes are juicy and shriveling up a bit. Let the tomatoes cool slightly.
In a food processor or blender, pulse the tomatoes and all of their juices and garlic with the basil until coarsely chopped. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve over the warm fritters.