Zucchini Fritters with Tomato and Basil Sauce

I had a recipe for zucchini fritters but they required frying and I try not to fry all the time so I rewrote the recipe so that they could be baked. You may have to adjust some of the ingredient according to the size of your zucchini or if you need more fritters. I had my testers try these out and they were a hit. My middle boy, who thinks jerky is a good desert, loved them so if an anti-veg picky eater ate 2 before he even touched his steak then I can almost guarantee they are good. Here is your ingredient list:

4 medium zucchini (coarsely grated)

1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon of onion powder

1/4 teaspoon of smoked paprika

1 tablespoon of salt (I used kosher)

2 shakes of hot sauce

1 egg

2 tablespoons of flour

1/2 cup of breadcrumbs

1/4 cup of mozzarella (finely grated)

You will need a fine mesh sieve and a bowl or a strainer and a clean towel. Mix the grated zucchini with the salt and place into the sieve or towel and strainer then place over the bowl. Put this in the refrigerator for at least a few hours or overnight if you like and now you can make your sauce (save this for later if you are waiting until the next day to make the fritters). You will need:

4 small or 2 medium tomatoes ( I used Campari since the local kind are not in yet)

lemon zest and juice half a lemon

salt and pepper

2 tablespoons of fresh basil (use what you have here if you have parsley then use that instead you just want something fresh and green)

Chop the tomatoes and basil then add your seasonings. Taste to see if it needs adjusting and then refrigerate. Easiest sauce ever!

Now for the fritters. Turn your oven to 400 degrees and place your rack in the middle. Take out the zucchini and empty the water in the bottom of the bowl out and place the zucchini into a clean towel. If you are worried about salt you can rinse the zucchini prior to this step. Wring the zucchini out until hardly any liquid comes out. Dump it back into the bowl and season. Taste the mixture now to see if it needs anything before you add the egg. Now add the egg and stir. Next will be the flour and bread crumbs which I suggest you add a little at a time in case your zucchini is less wet or more than mine. I would not put any more than the 2 tbs flour in but you can add more bread crumbs if needed.

Note: You can easily make your own bread crumbs by saving up bread in the freezer then toasting lightly in the oven and grinding in a food processor. Garlic bread is excellent for this and it is free breadcrumbs! Now back to the method.

Once you have a mixture that holds together but is not dry brush some oil onto a cookie sheet. I used olive but you can use what you like. Use two spoons to drop the mixture onto to the pan and flatten them out. I got 9 small fritters from this mixture.Now brush each fritter with some oil and top with the cheese. The cheese can be left off but it really did add something so I recommend it.Now for the tricky part. My oven has the broiler built-in but if your oven has the broiler separate then you will need to keep a close eye on these and adjust the times. Place the fritters into the oven and bake for 10 minutes at 400 degrees. Then turn on the broiler and cook on each side  for 5 minutes. If you oiled the pan well you should not have too much trouble flipping them. Once they are browned on both sides then take them out and top with the sauce. Enjoy!

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