Zucchini is abundant right now, especially in my garden and most of us are trying to invent recipes that are fresh and tasty during the season. Zucchini are tricky and that in just one day these elongated vegetables can turn almost into baseball bats, making them almost too big to enjoy. I try and pick mine when they’re still on the smallish side because I find that they are more flavorful and less watery, like a true summer vegetable.
Zucchini are versatile because you can toss them into almost any dish to add a vibrant green kick. As for adding flavor, zucchini are very mild, so they do take on the characteristics of fresh herbs and spices easily. Zucchini also add moisture to recipes, including baked goods, especially quick breads or muffins, and even fritters.
In this recipe, I use shredded zucchini and add some fresh ricotta cheese and herbs to make these Italian-style fritters. The sautéed shrimp provide a succulent bite that compliments the fresh taste, and completes them perfectly. They go nicely with a crisp Rose’ or Sauvignon Blanc, and make a delightful light meal, or appetizer course.
1 medium zucchini, shredded
1/2 cup fresh ricotta cheese
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
8 large shrimp, deveined, tail removed and sliced in half lengthwise
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter
(Makes 8 Fritters)
1. In a large bowl, combine shredded zucchini, egg, ricotta, chia seeds, basil, red pepper flakes, oregano, salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
2. Drizzle 2 tablespoons olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Spoon 2 heaping tablespoons of fritter batter in pan to form round, and continue with 2 more rounds. Cook fritters on first side until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Flip over and cook other side for another 3 minutes. Remove fritters and set aside, add a little more olive oil to pan, before you begin cooking next batch of fritters.
3. In a small bowl, toss shrimp with paprika, garlic powder and salt. Add butter to same sauté pan as you cooked fritters, and place over medium heat. When butter is melted, sauté shrimp for 4 minutes. Remove shrimp from heat and place 2 shrimp on top of each fritter, along with a little drizzle of melted butter from pan. Serve immediately. Enjoy!
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