Summer Squash Fritters

August 8, 2011 at 9:00 am 4 comments

New Jersey has many nicknames: the Soprano State, the armpit of America, the stomping grounds of Snookie and the Situation… I am not particularly proud of the reputation that this gives my state. Very few people think of its real nickname, the Garden State! Influenced by the limited view of oil refineries as they exit the plane in Newark, few people venture south into the real NJ before heading into the city. However, NJ still has some great farming! There is nothing better than sweet Jersey corn, plump tomatoes, fresh eggplant, and zucchini. The sandy soil in my area always makes my mom’s garden pump out the biggest zucchini and summer squash ever! While we were on vacation, our garden went unpicked and the summer squash grew to unruly dimensions. The yellow squash looked more like a vintage billy club than a vegetable! When they get this huge, they don’t have as much flavor anymore, so I didn’t want to simply sautee or grill the squash. I decided instead to make summer squash fritters, inspired by a recipe by mom book marked in her latest Martha Stewart Living magazine. I don’t usually fry things, but make a few exceptions when I want to try something new! I made quite a few changes, wanting them to be dairy-free, and they turned out magnificently. The oil in the pan should be shallow and really hot so that the fritters get crispy instead of soggy, and I drained mine on a paper towel before serving to get rid of some of the excess oil. Served as an appetizer, part of dinner, or with an egg for breakfast, this is a great way to use up some summer veggies!


Like I said, this recipe is adapted from Martha Stewart Living, with which I have a love/hate relationship. I will flip through my mom’s magazine if I get bored at home, and am struck immediately by two things. The ideas in her magazine (for food, crafts, and decorating) are creative and inspiring. And yet everything is so… perfect. And not in a good way. In a sickening way. Rooms look untouched and  not lived in, recipes feel out of reach. In a book I recently read on my mom’s recommendation, The Bucolic Plague, the author, Josh, has similar mixed feelings towards Martha. His partner worked for Martha, and they were often guests of her famous dinner parties. One Fourth of July, Josh was there early and asked Martha what he could help with. This quote is the internal struggle that follows.

“Can I help with anything?” I asked

“Yes, thank you,” Martha replied in her adopted Connecticut clipped enunciation. “Would you cut up that celery for the salad?”

I stared at the stalks of celery lying perfectly and crisply prone on the counter before me. I was frozen with fear as the questions started a pileup in my mind.

How big? Diced? Chopped? Do I string it first? Didn’t I see her string celery on a Thanksgiving special once? Do I cut straight across? On an angle? Which angle?! Forty-five degrees? Twenty degrees? A slight but decorative slant?…

That quote is only one highlight from the book, which I would highly recommend! It chronicles the journey of two city boys who buy a farm in upstate New York. They start a garden, learn the art of canning, help raise goats, and learn a lot about themselves and what is important to them along the way. Book number 9 that I have read this summer!

Question: What is your favorite way to use up giant garden veggies?


Summer Squash Fritters

adapted from Martha Stewart Living

2 medium yellow squash (or one really big one!)

1 medium Vidalia onion

1/2 cup bread crumbs

1/3 cup whole wheat flour

Salt and pepper to taste

1 tbsp dried cilantro

2 eggs

Canola oil for frying

Trim the ends off the yellow squash. Grate the squash over a box grater into a large bowl. Mix with chopped Vidalia onions, bread crumbs, flour, and cilantro. Pour a small amount of canola oil into a wok pan and begin to heat. Meanwhile, beat together eggs with a pinch of salt and pepper. Combine the squash mixture with the eggs. Spoon 2 tbsp of batter into your palm to form small patties. Place lightly in the hot oil. Fry for a few minutes on each side until slightly browned and crispy. Place on a plate lined with a paper towel, and then cover with another towel. Press down lightly to soak up any excess oil. Sprinkle with salt if desired. Serve with a fried egg, plain yogurt, or whatever sauce you desire.


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4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. frugalfeeding  |  August 8, 2011 at 9:47 am

    Oh yum, they look brilliant. I’ve not cooked with a squash for a while. This would be a perfect recipe to do, and so simple!

    • 2. jenlenew  |  August 8, 2011 at 1:10 pm

      Thanks! Hope you enjoy :)

  • 3. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide  |  August 8, 2011 at 10:26 am

    This is too funny. I made zucchini fritters last night and when I went to pull up a recipe I couldn’t pull up the posts I like something funny with WordPress, it would’ve been too early to see this though, so I guess that’s OK. These look fabulous. Sorry to ramble!

    • 4. jenlenew  |  August 8, 2011 at 1:09 pm

      I hate when I can’t find a recipe I have wanted to make for a while! Good thing summer squash still has a bit more time in season :)


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