Tasting Table San Francisco: Zucchini Fritters

To learn more about this recipe, see our related story, Classic Tables: Kokkari, in our San Francisco edition.

Recipe adapted from Erik Cosselmon, Kokkari, San Francisco

Zucchini Fritters With Mint-Yogurt Sauce
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Make Zucchini Fritters with Mint-Yogurt Sauce from Erik Cosselmon, Kokkari, San Francisco
Servings
6
servings
Ingredients
  • Marinated cucumbers
  • ½ pound hothouse (English) cucumbers
  • ¼ cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Mint-Yogurt sauce
  • ¾ cup Greek-style whole-milk yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 teaspoons coarsely chopped fresh mint
  • ½ teaspoon dried spearmint
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Zucchini cakes
  • 1½ pounds large zucchini
  • ½ large white or yellow onion
  • Sea salt
  • ½ pound Manouri cheese, chilled
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 heaping teaspoon chopped fresh mint
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1¼ cups fine dry breadcrumbs, plus more if needed
  • ½ cup olive oil mixed with ½ cup canola oil, for frying
  • Unbleached all-purpose flour, as needed
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Directions
  1. Make the marinated cucumbers: Halve the cucumbers lengthwise and thinly slice. Put the sliced cucumbers in a medium bowl and add the vinegar, olive oil, 1¼ teaspoons salt, and a few grinds of pepper. Toss gently and let stand at least 15 minutes or up to an hour.
  2. Make the mint-yogurt sauce: Put the yogurt in a small bowl and gently fold in the olive oil, lemon juice and fresh mint with a rubber spatula. Don't whisk the yogurt, or it will become too thin. Crumble in the dried spearmint and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. Make the zucchini cakes: Grate the zucchini and the onion on the large holes of a box grater, or grate in a food processor using your grating disk. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt and toss well with your hands. Put the zucchini and onion in a colander lined with a double thickness of cheesecloth. Set over a bowl and let drain for 30 minutes.
  4. Gather the cheesecloth and squeeze vigorously to remove as much moisture as you can. Transfer the zucchini and onion to a bowl and break up any clumps with your fingers. Crumble the Manouri into the bowl and mix with your hands to incorporate the cheese evenly.
  5. Add the Parmesan, parsley, mint, garlic, lemon zest, 2 tablespoons of the beaten egg, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Add ¼ cup of the breadcrumbs and knead briefly to mix well. The mixture should be firm enough to shape without sticking to your hands. Adjust with a little more egg or breadcrumbs as needed.
  6. Divide the mixture into 12 equal mounds and roll each into a ball. Put the remaining 1 cup breadcrumbs in a shallow bowl and gently roll each ball in the crumbs to coat evenly. Flatten each ball into a patty a little more than 2 inches in diameter and a scant 1 inch thick.
  7. In a large skillet, heat the mixed oils over high heat until shimmering. When the oil is hot enough to sizzle a few breadcrumbs on contact, fry a test zucchini cake until richly browned on both sides, 1 to 1½ minutes per side. If the cake does not hold together, it is too moist: Lightly dredge the remaining cakes in flour before proceeding. Fry in batches of 4 to 6 to avoid cooling the oil. Reduce the heat if needed to prevent the cakes from browning too quickly. Using a slotted spatula, transfer to a double thickness of paper towels to drain.
  8. Serve hot with the marinated cucumbers and mint-yogurt sauce.
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