Go Back

Summer Squash Fritters with Cucumber Tzatziki

Author: Adapted from Food and Wine + First We Eat by Eva Kosmos Flores

Ingredients

TZATZIKI:

  • 1 large cucumber (I used the English variety), ends snipped off
  • 1 ¼ cups plain Greek yogurt
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ tsp minced fresh dill
  • ¾ tsp distilled white vinegar
  • Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste

FRITTERS:

  • 2 large yellow summer squash
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbs chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Canola oil, for frying

Instructions

TZATZIKI:

  • Make this first. Grate the cucumber on the large holes of a box grater. Place the shredded cucumber in cheesecloth or several layers of paper towels and squeeze to wring almost dry. Add to a small mixing bowl, along with yogurt, garlic, dill, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine. Refrigerate while you make the fritters.

FRITTERS:

  • Rinse the box grater under water, but you don’t have to thoroughly clean it. Just get the flecks of cucumber off. Dry it, then snip the end off the squash. Grate them on the large holes of the box grater as you did the cucumber. Place the shreds in a cheesecloth or paper towels and squeeze to wring mostly dry. Add to a large mixing bowl, along with beaten egg, flour, baking powder, Parmesan, basil, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Mix together until a uniform batter forms.
  • Pour oil into a large skillet. You want it to come up around ½ an inch up the sides - you’re looking for not enough oil to deep fry, but a little more than a simple pan fry. Heat over medium-high heat until it registers 350℉ on a candy thermometer. If you don’t have one, you can test with a drop of batter. It should sizzle right away but not immediately brown.
  • Once the oil is ready, add the batter in whatever size spoonful you like. I just used a cereal spoon. Use the back of the spoon to flatten and if you want, shape the fritters into circles. You can see I don’t really mess with that kind of thing, I let the fritters be themselves. You can cook the fritters in batches, but space them at least one inch apart. You’ll likely need two to three batches to cook them all.
  • Let them go 3 to 4 minutes per side. Use a slotted spatula to transfer them to a paper towel lined plate. Serve immediately with the Cucumber Tzatziki.

Notes

These fritters took three tries to get right, with the first two attempts being utter disasters. You can read the whole, sad saga in the body of the post. I ended up combining two recipes to get the perfect fritters: Food and Wine Magazine, and First We Eat by Eva Kosmos Flores.
The important things to remember: do not skip over squeezing out the water from both the cucumber and the squash. Cheesecloth works best, but a large coffee filter or just several layers of paper towels is fine. As for the oil in the pan, you’re looking for about half an inch tall, maybe a tad less. The oil level is somewhere in between pan frying and deep frying. You are definitely not wanting the latter, but you want a bit more than a thin drizzle or film of oil like you’d use to saute an onion or something. As far as shapes and sizes, I realize I didn’t really specify; it’s mostly because I don’t care. I am not The Fritter Police. I think fritters are delicious even when imperfectly shaped or unevenly sized, so I never bother to worry. Lastly, the fritters take longer to cook than you’d think. A good three minutes a side is going to be necessary.