Zucchini Yam Fritters with Garlic Herb Yogurt Sauce

Image - Sally's Baking Addiction
A few weeks ago, a friend shared a recipe for zucchini fritters with me. They looked amazing, but I honestly felt they were a little bland overall.  I did a quick internet search for other options and settled on this recipe from a website called Sally's Baking Addiction.  

My veggie patties never look like the ones in their photo. I just don't seem to have the knack for forming the edges so perfectly.But other than that, the recipe was super simple. As we are in self-isolation, I needed to wing it with a few ingredients - I didn't have any mint or parsley and wasn't going to run to the store. What I did have was a tube of Basil paste. That would have to do. 

To me a sign of a good recipe is that you can change up an herb for what you have in the fridge and while the taste will be a little different, it still turns out fine. Such was the case here. I put Basil paste in both the Garlic Herb Yogurt Sauce and in the fritters with great success.

I not only liked, I loved the addition of corn meal in the patties. It gave them a slight textural crunch that . really appealed to me. I also liked the combination of raw grated zucchini and raw grated dark orange yam. The mix gave the patties a pop of colour and the yam upped the flavour a bit. Let's face it, we all know zucchini can be bland on it's own. Even with that mix, though, what made these really flavourful was the wonderful sauce you put on top. They just wouldn't be the same without it.  
I am definitely going to start using
these more often. So handy!
The one change I might make next time is to remove the honey from the garlic sauce. It didn't hit the spot for me, especially with the change from mint to basil.  And I liked the basil a lot, so not sure if I'll do the mint next time or stick with basil paste. I also have to figure out how to get the edges of my patties to look like the ones in the picture above. Even after salting and squeezing the water out, I had loose shreds poking out the sides. 

These fritters were not super filling on their own. If you want to use them as a main dish, it would need to be part of a light meal with several dishes along side. I used them as a vegetable paired with home made crispy chicken strips. My husband was impressed. 

Within the limits of the recipe, this is one you can try changing up the herbs without too much worry.  If you do a little experimenting yourself, let me know what you did and how it turned out. 

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Zucchini Yam Fritters with Garlic Herb Yogurt Sauce

Garlic Herb Yogurt Sauce -

½ C            Plain Greek or regular yogurt
2 tsp           Chopped Parsley (I didn't have any so skipped)
1 T             Chopped fresh mint (I didn't have this so subbed a T of Basil Paste)
2 T             Fesh lemon juice
1 T             Olive oil
1 tsp           Honey (might leave this out next time)
1 tsp            Minced garlic (I minced 2 med garlic cloves)
Salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste

Fritters -
2 cups shredded zucchini (2 small or 1 large zucchini)
1 cup shredded dark orange Yam (1 small, peeled)
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 large eggs
1 heaping teaspoon minced garlic
2 Tablespoons chopped parsley
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh mint
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup cornmeal
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
1/3 cup olive oil

Instructions -

Yogurt sauce - Whisk all of the yogurt sauce ingredients together except for the salt and pepper. Taste, then add salt/pepper to your taste. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. 
Note - I simply threw everything in my Magic Bullet and ran it until smooth. Worked great!)

Fritters - Place the shredded zucchini, sweet potato, and onion in a large strainer. Top with 1 teaspoon salt and mix it around with a large wooden spoon. Press down with your hands to begin draining some of the water from the vegetables. Let that sit in the sink for a few minutes. Line a large bowl with paper towels or a clean dish towel (easier to use a towel!). Place the vegetable mixture in the bowl and top with more paper towels or fold over the dish towel. Begin pressing down; you need to get out as much liquid as possible. Grab more paper towels or a new dish towel as needed. See note at bottom. (Mine were pretty dry this time, so this step didn't take long, but in her note at the bottom she suggests up to 45 min before squeezing the liquid out).

Whisk the eggs together in a large bowl. Once beaten, whisk in the garlic, parsley, mint, (or Basil Paste) remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper. Fold in the vegetables, then add the cornmeal and cornstarch until everything is combined.

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, use a fork to scoop up around 2 Tablespoons of the zucchini mixture. There may be liquid pooling in the bottom of the bowl, so make sure you use a fork so the excess liquid isn’t in your fritter. 

Place the mixture onto the hot skillet and flatten with a spatula. Repeat with a few more, making sure not to overcrowd the skillet. Cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes on each side. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate until finished.

Serve warm fritters with yogurt sauce.

Note: you can also simply wring out the vegetables in the dish towel over the sink. Just keep wringing! Let the vegetables sit in the towels for 45 minutes, then press again. The goal is to remove as much moisture as possible. Otherwise, the fritters will be soggy. You will be amazed how much water you wring out!