For those of you who have wondered how my most difficult client is doing, things have not changed. Dinner remains a challenge. We’ll go what seems like weeks where she will want nothing to eat but peanut butter and jelly and grilled cheese sandwiches. And then, when the stars align and the moon is just right, she’ll eat three salteñas like it’s no big deal.
Her schizophrenic whims have been a blow to my creativity in the kitchen, but when I stumbled across an article that suggested zucchini pancakes as a great lunchbox addition I had a light-bulb moment. Years ago, I developed this recipe for a vegetable fritter. It looks just like a pancake (something that my most difficult client loves), but is packed with zucchini, squash, and carrots. Like the Trojan horse, this little pancake is my secret weapon when it comes time to get my most difficult client to eat her vegetables.
You can fry or bake these vegetable fritters (fry for a crispier crust and better browning) and they freeze well making them a great addition to a lunchbox or picnic. Simply pack them while they are frozen and by lunch they’ll be ready to eat.
These fritters could also be served as an appetizer or side dish. My most difficult client likes to dip her fritters into plain Greek yogurt (and I admit it’s quite tasty), but if serving a more sophisticated crowd I like to add fresh herbs and a little lemon juice to the Greek yogurt just to dress things up a bit.
I’ve both grated my vegetables on a box grater and also cut them with a spiral cutter. I prefer them with a box grater, but either is just fine.
Vegetable Fritters – Printer Friendly Recipe
Makes about 1½ dozen fritters
These vegetable fritters will please both young and old alike. Serve these fritters as an appetizer, side dish, or even as a light meal. They travel well making them ideal for lunchboxes and picnics.
Plain Greek yogurt (my favorite brand is Fage) works great as a healthy dipping sauce and is quite approachable for even the pickiest eaters. If you feel inclined to dress things up a bit, stir your favorite minced herbs and a quick squeeze of lemon juice into the yogurt before serving.
1 large yellow squash, grated
1 large zucchini, grated
1 large carrot, peeled and grated
3 green onions, ends trimmed, white and green parts thinly sliced
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
¾ cup all purpose flour
¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
Vegetable oil, for pan-frying
For serving: plain Greek yogurt (add fresh herbs and a little lemon juice for a more sophisticated version)
In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients except the vegetable oil. Stir together until combined.
Heat a large, high-sided skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add just enough vegetable oil to lightly cover the bottom of the pan. Heat the oil over medium-high heat until very hot. Carefully drop tablespoon-size spoonfuls of the fritter batter into the pan. Be careful not to overcrowd the skillet. Cook the fritters for about 2 minutes on each side until golden brown. Remove the fritters using a slotted spoon and set on a paper towel placed over a wire rack.
Repeat until all of the batter has been used adding more oil only if needed. Keep fritters warm in a 200 degree oven until ready to serve with a side of Greek yogurt.
To bake fritters, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spoon tablespoon-size spoonfuls of batter onto the lined baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes then flip fritters over and bake for another 5 minutes. Fritters that are baked instead of pan-fried will not be as crispy or as brown, but will still taste yummy!