Zucchini Fritters

One day, as I was shredding potatoes for hash browns, I had an epiphany. A little one, but an epiphany nonetheless. I realized I needed to squeeze all the excess water out of the potatoes before cooking them. Now, based on what I see on the Internets, *everybody* already knew this somehow. I guessed I missed a memo.

So, putting two and two together — never let it be said that I don’t catch on quickly — I realized I needed to do the same thing for zucchini when making fritters. It is fascinating to discover how much liquid is in a zucchini. And making fritters is a tasty way to make zucchini interesting again. Seriously…it’s been coming on strong all summer, and I don’t think there’s an end in sight!

If you make too many fritters, you can freeze and reheat in the oven. If you’re looking for a party appetizer, make smaller fritters. The best part of this recipe? Nobody will ever know they’re gluten-free. I love delicious recipes that showcase GF-specific ingredients — the lack of gluten doesn’t mean a lack of flavor.

When researching this recipe, I discovered a few recipes featuring freshly grated Parmesan cheese, and one that used feta. I think cheese is always a good idea! Now, given my druthers, I’d go with the feta (and skip any additional salt), but it’s always good to have options. Also, you can make the dipping sauce however you like. I use Greek yogurt all the time, so naturally gravitate in that direction.

More Roasted Veggies

As noted in my recipe for Roasted Carrots, I roast almost all of my vegetables. They simply taste better that way. There are two keys to roasting vegetables: high heat and evenly sized vegetables.

Oh, and some olive oil, salt, and pepper. Everything else is just a variation on the theme.

Also, don’t crowd your vegetables, and make sure as much of the vegetable as possible is touching the pan. It’s that contact with the heat that matters. Here are a few more tips on roasting vegetables.

If I’m using my oven to roast veggies, I cook in the upper third of my oven and turn once or twice during the cooking process. If I’m using the grill, I keep an eye on the vegetables to ensure even browning (versus, you know, burning). You want to achieve a nice level of caramelization — a deep golden brown shade.

How to Roast

  1. Preheat your oven or grill to 425 degrees.
  2. Make sure your vegetables are about the same size.
  3. Toss with olive oil (a few tablespoons usually does the trick)
  4. Add salt and pepper to taste. Other herbs and spices can be used as well.
  5. Cook for approximately 30 minutes, or until you have a good number of caramelized spots. Turn once or twice during the cooking process if necessary. Different veggies cook at different times, so pay attention!
  6. Eat!

So what can you roast? Read on, my friends, read on. This is, obviously, not a complete list…use your imagination.

  • Asparagus. Break off the woody ends, otherwise leave whole. If you’re adding to a pasta, you can cut into smaller pieces, then roast. Asparagus cooks pretty fast, so check at the fifteen minute mark.
  • Bell peppers. Cut into strips and roast.
  • Broccoli. I love roasted broccoli. Cut into 1 − 1 1/2 inch florets. The ends will get very brown, but that’s a good thing. You can also roast the stems. 
  • Cauliflower. Oh, roasted cauliflower is especially good (and use the leftovers as the basis for a great soup; or just, you know, roast the cauliflower for the soup). Cut into 1 − 1 1/2 inch pieces. Or make roasted cauliflower “steaks”: cut the head of cauliflower into 1/2 inch thick slices, brush olive oil onto both sides, add salt and pepper, and roast, turning once. Yummy!
  • Parsnips. Roast like carrots — diagonal chunks or whole (cut in half if the parsnips are especially thick).
  • Sweet Potatoes. Cut into 1-inch chunks, and serve as a meal or make part of a great sweet potato salad. You’re welcome.
  • Turnips. Cut into 1-inch chunks and discover what you’ve been missing all these years.
  • Zucchini. I usually cut my zucchini in half or quarters (lengthwise) and roast away.

Quinoa and Vegetable Stuffed Bell Peppers

Another weeknight quickie, especially if you’re using leftover quinoa (or rice). It’s a great vegetarian option that is highly flexible when it comes to ingredients. For example, instead of spinach, I’ve used dandelion greens or kale. In fact, you can mix up the ingredients all sorts of ways…to the point where instead of a bell pepper, maybe you’re stuffing an acorn or butternut squash (note: this may increase cooking time!).

Steak Salad with Green Goddess Dressing

While steak on its own is a fine, fine meal, sometimes the salad craving can’t be ignored. This salad was born during a particularly brutal heatwave. The cool mix of vegetables, the light, tangy dressing (which I have also served with a good dash of chipotle), and the well-seasoned steak makes a satisfying meal.

Feel free to add or subtract ingredients based on what is in season. In late summer, I tend to have a lot of zucchini, so grilling it is a natural.