I spent my early childhood in an area that is notoriously green. It is the kind of place where you can drop a seed in a pile of dirt, walk away for several months and find a huge, green, vegetable-bearing plant in its place. I have such fond memories of my childhood, most of which are associated with either the green backdrop of the area, or the many foods which it produced.
At least four generations of my family have fried zucchini in the following fashion. It is not complicated or unique, but it is one of my favorite dishes, ever. Though I make it myself today, no one has ever made it better than my precious mother. I remember being very young, at her side, watching her cook, and waiting impatiently for the little circles of fried goodness to be done. My father and I would devour them almost as soon as they popped off the pan, lured by their savory taste and smooth, yet crispy texture. Even today, the smell and taste of this recipe take me back to days of yore.
Simple Pan Fried Zucchini
2-3 medium to large zucchini
2 eggs, beaten
1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
salt and pepper
1/4 -1/2 cup olive oil
First, slice the zucchini to desired thickness. Remember that thicker slices will retain more moisture and therefore be “juicier” while thin slices will crisp up better. Keep the beaten egg and flour in separate bowls. I like to season this recipe twice (once in the flour and once in the pan), so I add some salt and pepper to the dry flour and mix. Submerge zucchini slices in the beaten egg and allow to soak for a moment, then move each slice to the flour and coat thoroughly. In a large frying pan on medium heat, add some olive and fry both sides of zucchini slices to desired doneness. Season again with salt and pepper during frying as you see fit. Between batches you may have to add additional olive oil.
This dish is best served immediately! These little circles of delightfulness can become cold and mushy given too much time on the plate. I usually set them out as they are being cooked so as not to let too much time pass. I sometimes serve them as part of a meal, though many times they become the meal themselves, and the act of cooking transforms into a social event with people commuting between conversation, watching the process, and waiting for each batch to finish.
I will admit that although this is a very simple recipe, it can also be a very time-consuming one. Therefore, rather than doing it for a proper dinner, I usually make it a late afternoon “event” that generally replaces dinner. Crudités and cocktails (or mocktails, for the little ones) generally round out the fare nicely.
Do you like zucchini? What are your favorite late summer recipes?
Enjoy, and stay cozy!