These delightful fritters are a great way to use fresh zucchini and spring herbs, which are both abundant at the market this time of year. The humble zucchini is really the star of this dish and is accented by the bright, fresh flavor of herbs like dill, parsley and mint. Zucchini is plentiful in the spring and summer, inexpensive, and nutritious. It is comprised mostly of water so it’s very low in calories- one medium zucchini has only 31 calories. Zucchini has several important vitamins and minerals, most of which are in the skin so be sure to keep the skin on when you eat it. It’s rich in Vitamin A, B-complex Vitamins, Vitamin C and Vitamin K. It’s also a very good source of dietary fiber and important minerals like potassium and manganese. When purchasing zucchini, choose ones that are firm and heavy with a bright, glossy skin.
To make the fritters, grate the zucchini (with skin on) on a box grater. Grate the zucchini at an angle to get long strands.
Place the grated zucchini in a colander lined with cheesecloth. If you don’t have cheesecloth, you can place the zucchin directly in the colander. Sprinkle 2 teaspoons salt on the zucchini and toss to combine.
Let the zucchini rest for 20 minutes, then gather up the ends of the cheesecloth and wring all of the liquid out. If you’re not using cheesecloth, you can squeeze the water out of the zucchini with your hands in batches. It is important to squeeze out as much water as possible so that the fritters aren’t soggy- you’ll be amazed at how much water comes out!
Place the zucchini in a large mixing bowl and add the scallions, dill, parsley, mint, egg and egg white. Mix with a fork to combine.
Add the cheese, flour, baking powder, breadcrumbs, ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper, and the red pepper flakes. Mix with a fork to combine all ingredients well.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large cast iron skillet or nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Place 8 dollops (about 2 tablespoons each) of the zucchini mixture into the pan and flatten them slightly with a spatula. The more you flatten them, the crispier the fritters will be.
Cook 3-4 minutes until a golden brown crust forms, then flip them over. Cook another 2-3 minutes until browned underneath again.
Remove the fritters from the pan. Pour the remaining tablespoon oil into the skillet and repeat the process with the remaining batter.