Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Patty Pan Squash Fritters

I'm leaving on a rather long trip in three days' time, so in an effort to enjoy my patio garden to the utmost I've been harvesting the profusion of little baby vegetables that have already grown. Swiss chard is great in an omelette or frittata, cherry tomatoes are delicious on their own, herbs can and should be thrown in anything and everything. As for the peas and beans, well, they just haven't shown up in time and will have to be enjoyed by house-sitters and my boyfriend, Jeff, when he returns in advance of me.

With all of the easy things figured out, I was left with only a colander of baby patty pan squash to find a delicious use for last night. Luckily, I've just finished reading Laurie Colwin's inspiring, food writing masterpiece (one of two that she published before her death in 1992): Home Cooking. Among the many edibles that Colwin dishes about repeatedly are zucchini. Thankfully, zucchini recipes translate seemlessly if you prefer to use the less-popular (yet, in my opinion, infinitely more interesting) patty pan squash, the vegetable which I found myself having an abundance of three days before my scheduled departure. Should you be lucky enough to have your own garden, you too will undoubtedly find yourself with too many zucchinis, summer, or patty pan squash. Though you wouldn't want to eat this every day (for the sake of your heart, not due to lack of deliciousness), every once in a while I can certainly advocate for squash fritters, a recipe I learned from reading Home Cooking and now pass on to you.

Grate the equivalent of 4 medium zucchini squash (mix different varieties as necessary). Separate 2 eggs (keep both the whites and yolks), and beat the whites until they are quite stiff. Add 1/2 cup of milk to the yolk and beat until mixed. Add 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup of flour to the yolk and milk mixture (it should be slightly thicker than pancake batter), add grated squash and mix together until well incorporated. Add salt and pepper to taste and incorporate green onions (green part only), chives, or other fresh herbs as you see fit. Fold in the egg whites. Fry in butter or olive oil until golden brown on both sides and enjoy hot with sour cream or plain yogurt. Finally, rush out to your nearest independent bookseller and pick up Laurie Colwin's Home Cooking, and it's fabulous sequel, More Home Cooking right away!

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