I blame my fritter jones on Faith Willinger. She’s an American writer, married to a Tuscan, living in Florence, and the author of Red, White, & Greens, The Italian Way with Vegetables. One of my favorite cookbooks, it includes a recipe for subrich (soo-brick), traditional Piemontese fritters that use egg and stale bread to bind vegetables together while they’re pan fried in extra virgin olive oil.
This Calabrian version from Katie Parla’s Food of the Italian South combines the ubiquitous summer squash with mint using the same technique.
From the kitchen
I like to use smaller zucchini; the big ones are a little older and can be slightly bitter. The light green, striped version called romanesco are also good. Grate enough with your food processor or box grater to yield about 3 cups of grated squash. Chop a big handful of fresh mint leaves, at least a cup but more is fine.
Combine the grated zucchini and chopped mint with 3 eggs, about 3/4 cup flour, and a half cup of grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. Add a good pinch of salt, too.
Heat enough extra virgin olive oil to cover the bottom of a heavy skillet over medium heat. When it’s shimmering, carefully spoon the zucchini mixture into the hot oil to make fritters about 3 inches across.
Working in batches, cook the fritters for about 3 minutes or until you see the edges beginning to brown. Flip them over and cook for a few more minutes, then let drain on a wire rack.