Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Zucchini : Fritters with Creamy Basil Dressing , and Herbed Ricotta Toastets

Not too long ago the RFC provided the food for a Tricycle Gardens Urban Farm event. It was such fun! All the produce used was grown by the fantastic staff and volunteers at Tricycle's Urban Farm. Our challenge was to provide utensil free hors d'oeuvres that were affordable, time friendly, and delicious.
Here are the recipes for the two things I made for the event. My apologies to all those who have been waiting for these!

Creamy Basil Dressing
The fritters were pretty good, but this dressing is what folks were really after. My husband thinks I should keep the recipe secret and make my fortune off this stuff... it's that good. The real secret though is the freshness and quality of the ingredients, a hem, Dukes included of course. I can't remember what I first made this dressing for, something involving tomatoes I'm sure. It's great with the fritters, but it's also lovely spooned over fresh summer produce, or added to a sandwich.

2 Cups Packed Fresh Chopped Basil
3 Heaping spoon fulls Dukes Mayo (approx 4 tbsp)
5 tsp. Lemon Juice
2 tsp. White Wine Vinegar
1 tsp. Kosher Salt
1/2 tsp. Fresh Ground Black Pepper
3 Cloves Garlic, pealed and halved or quartered
2 Tsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Toss Basil, Olive Oil, Garlic, Vinegar, and Mayo in a food processor and blend until even consistency. This is quick, about 30 seconds. Add the Lemon Juice, . Salt, and Pepper. Pulse or blend until fully blended. Store in a sealed jar for up to two days, or serve immediately.

Zucchini Fritters

The Cuisinart at Max Capacity!

I'll confess I had never made these fritters before, but I was inspired by a recipe in the August issue of Martha Stewart. So of course, I totally did not follow the recipe. You asked so here it is... honestly if I were you I would use the base line proportions found in any of these others and use mine as a 'look I can play around with this" kinda thing. I made these up the night before. These were not super quick, the entire process took me at least a couple hours. After frying these I let them cool completely, refrigerated them in sealed containers and then reheated them on baking sheets at 350 for about 25-30 minutes before the event. Here's what I used...This recipe made me 35 fritters. I used way more cheese, more parsley, and more onion, in proportion to the zucchini than the original recipe.

2 Jumbo sized Zucchini, trimmed, cut long ways, and completely deseeded
2 Medium Onions
3/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
11/2 cups finely chopped fresh Flat Leaf Parsley
1 tsp. finely chopped Oregano
3 large eggs lightly beaten with a fork
3/4 cup? All Purpose Flour. (this part I just eyed for consistency, just so long as the fritters would hold together. )

Grate zucchini, and then onions using the large setting of a grater. Use a flour sack towel to squeeze out as much liquid as possible from each. Mix these together, with all other ingredients. Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat, and coat skillet with shallow layer of olive oil. A large skillet is fine as long as you have the burner size to match. Add zucchini mix in dollops of about 2 tbsp. Flatten with spatula. Cook until golden brown, and cooked through. About 3 minutes per side. Repeat for each batch. Place on paper towel lined tray to drain, or cool.

Zucchini and Herbed Ricotta Toastets

Okay, I made up these name for these as Cat was scribbling on those little slate pieces next to each item. These were whipped up about 20 minutes before we got to the event, so they definitely qualify as quick! No measurements here. We sliced a baguette into 1/2 thick rounds, and laid them on a baking tray to toast up in the oven. We were moving quick. If I do this again I would toast them up a bit more, toasty on the outside but still a little soft in the middle would be perfect.
Fresh herbs from the garden, perhaps chives, basil, and oregano were used. Toss some whole milk ricotta in a food processor with herbs, a clove or two of garlic a dash of lemon juice and some salt. A beautiful variety of long narrow, white and green striped zucchini was used fresh, and sliced thin. Layer slightly cooled bread, cheese mixture, and a fresh zucchini slice. Top with freshly grated black pepper.


  1. I love how ease these are to serve to a group! Very smart for an outdoor event, nice!

  2. Someone at the party said they wanted to drink the basil dressing through a straw like a milkshake.... Just thought you'd like to know.