It’s that time of year. Yes, the time when everyone realizes they have way too much zucchini for their own family, and they can’t possibly make enough zucchini bread to use all of it. Around here, most of our neighbors have zucchini in their gardens. I used to grow it, too. But then I figured out that all of the neighbors’ leftover zucchini was going to end up at our house anyway, so I stopped planting it.
See, when it’s zucchini season, your neighbors get sneaky about getting rid of their extras. They rarely come up to the door when you’re home and ask if you need any. Hardly anyone needs any around here! No, they wait until you’re not home and leave a bag of squash at your front door to greet you when you return. Since no one locks their car, some people drop bags of squash in familiar cars when they go to town. It’s an art form, really, gifting the unsuspecting with zucchini.
Little do my neighbors know that I now anticipate their stealthy zucchini-drops. The summer I was pregnant with Collin, I think 90 percent of my diet was vegetables from neighbors. That was the year of cantaloupe overload, too, so I was in fresh produce heaven!
Zucchini bread is delicious, of course, and we also put lots of cubed zucchini in stir fry and curries. When you’ve exhausted all of your standard zucchini recipes, I suggest making a batch of zucchini fritters. They’re filling, relatively healthy (if you ignore the oil in which they are fried), and they’re delicious.
Zucchini Sausage Fritters for a Large Family
- 6 small to medium zucchinis (or 3 zucchini and 3 yellow squash)
- 1 onion
- 1 pound pork sausage
- 1 envelope ranch dressing mix
- 1 tsp. dried, crushed hot pepper (I used dried ghost peppers, adjust to your preferred heat)
- 1 cup panko crumbs
- 2 Tbsp. corn starch
- 1 cup flour
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Oil for frying
- Sour cream for dipping
Use a food processor to shred the squash. Transfer shredded squash to a large mixing bowl.
Dice the onion and cook in a small amount of oil until translucent. Add ground pork and cook until browned. Pour onions and pork into the bowl with the squash.
Add dry ranch mix, hot pepper, panko, corn starch and flour to the bowl and mix thoroughly.
Heat oil in a large skillet. Drop about a third-cup at a time into the oil and gently flatten it. Don’t crowd the skillet. Cook until the edges begin to brown, then gently turn over. Cook for a few minutes more, them remove to a plate covered with a paper towel to absorb some of the frying oil.
Serve with a little bit of sour cream to contrast with the spiciness of the peppers.
Makes about 16 fritters, depending on zucchini size and how big you make the scoops.