Here is something I bet you didn’t know about your humble and earthy zucchini – it is actually an immature fruit, being the swollen ovary of the zucchini flower. And I thought I knew everything there was to know about this sweet Summer squash.
I have always liked the mild and ‘spring-like’ flavour of the zucchini, not to mention the texture, which is almost crisp when raw and very soft when cooked. They are what I would call a ‘gentle’ vegetable.
Here they are, in snack size pieces served with a whipped feta – their quiet simplicility complimenting the flavours of the dill and mint. They are deep fryed to perfection, giving you crispy bundles that you might want to enjoy in the late Summer sun with the cocktail of your choice, I am thinking a beer would be just perfect!
vegetable oil for deep frying
60 mls (¼ cup) buttermilk
150 grams/5 ounces plain (all purpose) flour
500 grams/17 ounces coarsely grated zucchini (3-4 zucchini)
2 spring onions, thinly sliced
½ cup each coarsely chopped dill and mint
finely grated rind of 2 lemons,
1 lemon cut into wedges, to serve
200 grams/7 ounces Greek feta
30 mls lemon juice
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
50 mls extra-virgin olive oil
For whipped feta, process feta, lemon juice and garlic in a food processor until very smooth. With motor running, add oil in a thin steady stream and process until emulsified, then season to taste and set aside.
Preheat vegetable oil in a deep-fryer or large deep saucepan to 180C. Meanwhile, whisk buttermilk and eggs in a bowl to combine, then add flour and stir until smooth. Stir in zucchini, spring onion, herbs and lemon rind, season to taste. Deep-fry tablespoons of zucchini mixture in batches, turning occasionally, until golden (around 2 – 3 minutes). Remove with a slotted spoon, drain on absorbent paper, season to taste and serve hot with whipped feta and lemon wedges.
Source: adapted from Australian Gourmet Travel, February 2011
© 2011, Michelle. All rights reserved.