Zucchini Fritters with Beans

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Okay, so I actually used summer squash. I pretty much interchange them, although they are not the same.

These were good but I have a feeling they needed just a little something else. A drizzle of chili sauce, maybe. Or some other form of condiment. Or maybe a little kick in the batter. The problem must be that I didn’t totally follow the recipe, which called for a chili in it, because I didn’t have a chili. Oh well.

I’ll give you a few recipe ideas, since I have not yet perfected it: the ones I made were from Rancho Gordo, and I imagine they will be better later in the season when I get some peppers. However, I also (the next day, of course) came across this recipe from Saveur, which also looks excellent. Let me know what you come up with in the comments!

The basic of vegetable fritters/pancakes/whatever is grated vegetable that is strained, mixed with a few things, and fried/griddled. Same basic idea for latkes. Fresh corn cakes you don’t have to strain.

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Once fried, I topped them with local Jacob’s Cattle beans I had made the night before and some veggies. I love beans. I probably have told you that already. They are delicious and earthy. And Jacob’s Cattle beans are so pretty (granted, they are less so when cooked. But more delicious).

Dried beans are much tastier than canned beans, and feel more like a dish in themselves than an ingredient. Dry beans are also very cheap, so make for good budget food. If you like, you can make a big batch and them freeze them so you have them on hand for quick meals.

I like soaking my beans, although I’ve cooked them successfully unsoaked before, so if you are unprepared, you can still enjoy them. Keep in mind that they do take a while to cook though, and cooking time can be a little unpredictable (depends on elevation, the season, the weather, your mood…).

Basic Beans
Beans
Water
Seasoning (cumin is great, whatever you like)
Salt (wait!)

Put the beans in a large-ish pot (at least twice the size of the amount of beans you are cooking) and cover with at least an inch of water. Let soak for 12 hours or overnight.

Keep the soaking water! It will make them juicier and more delicious. Add a little extra water if they have soaked everything up, and spices if you like (these can also be added partway through the cooking process). Bring to a boil, then turn down and simmer (you should have a nice burbly sound happening) for about an hour. When they are getting tender, THEN you can add the salt (otherwise they won’t cook. I’ve never actually done that, but everyone says). Cook a little more until nice and soft (there still should be some thick juices in the bottom, don’t let it go dry. If you have to add water I like adding boiling water. You can also add stock if you like, or even cook them with some bones or bits of meat to make them a little richer).

Top with whatever you like, and enjoy! I had the fritters, beans, tomato, parsley, tomatoes, and some slivered cheese. I look forward to doing them again with a little corn on top, or maybe a cilantro sauce.

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