In my last post, I wrote about enjoying the bounty of late summer produce before jumping into the rich flavors of autumn cooking. In that same spirit, I bring you this vegetable-centered late summer picnic of Zucchini Fritters and Marinated Green Bean Salad. We have had an unusually wet summer here in Colorado which has brought devastating floods to many parts of the state. But along with the destruction, the rain has also created an unusually bountiful harvest for many gardeners, and all the produce I used in this post (except the lemon and shallot) came from the gardens of generous friends and family. Bell pepper, zucchini and green beans combine for a hearty, yet refreshing, vegetarian meal that can easily be transported for a healthy lunch or picnic dinner.
- 1 lb. Zucchini, coarsely grated (about 1 medium)
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt, divided
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup shredded parmesan
- 1/4 cup buttermilk
- 1 large egg
- 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 Tablespoon minced fresh chives
- canola oil for frying
- Place the grated zucchini in a fine-mesh colander and toss with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Let the zucchini sit and drain for 1/2 hour. After the zucchini has drained, use paper towels or a thin, clean kitchen towel to squeeze out all the extra fluid.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, flour and parmesan. In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the egg, buttermilk, garlic, lemon zest, and chives. Combine the wet and dry ingredients, whisking just until combined. Fold in the grated zucchini until incorporated.
- Heat 2 Tablespoons canola oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add heaping tablespoons of the zucchini batter to the pan, pressing lightly with a spatula to flatten. Cook fritters until they are golden brown, about 4 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels and repeat with remaining batter, adding more oil to the skillet as needed, to keep the fritters from sticking. Serve warm or at room temperature.
- 1 lb. fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 small red pepper or 1/2 large red pepper, seeded and sliced into thin strips
- 1 whole shallot, finely chopped
- 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 Tablespoons canola oil
- Bring a medium sized pot of salted water to a boil. Fill a large bowl with ice water. Add the green beans and bell pepper and cook for 1 to 2 minutes until beans are bright green and crisp tender. Drain the vegetables and immediately plunge them into the ice water to stop them from cooking further.
- To make the dressing: Combine the shallot, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper in a small bowl or measuring cup and whisk to combine. Add the oil to the vinegar mixture in a thin stream, whisking constantly to emulsify the dressing.
- Drain the cooled vegetables in a colander then place them in a large mixing bowl. Pour the dressing over the vegetables, tossing them constantly so they get evenly coated with dressing. Season with extra salt and pepper to taste. Chill the salad for at least 2 hours before serving to allow the vegetables to soak up the dressing. Serve cold.