Cheesy Zucchini and Corn Fritters with Herb Sour Cream

Zucchini and Corn Fritters

If you grow your own summer squash, or belong to a CSA, the weekly glut of produce can be overwhelming. Our solution? Shred it, squeeze it, mix into a cheesy batter and fritter it away. Literally. 

If you grow your own summer squash, zucchini can sometimes feel like a plot device in a horror sci-fi movie. At the beginning of the season, you carefully harvest the first zucchini, cradle it like an infant and rest it with pride on the cutting board. The next day, you have two more, and with the proud thrill of the backyard farmer, you slice and grill your summer bounty. The next day you have two more, and two more the following day. By the end of the first week of peak zucchini, you’re nervously eyeing the stack of squash that has built up on the kitchen counter, wondering how many more friends you can gift your harvest to before even they stop answering the door.

And woe betide you if you skip checking for a few days – when you return to the garden and lift up the lowest squash leaf, you’ll inevitably find one monster marrow lurking like a squat green fiend.

Note: We originally blogged zucchini fritters back in 2013, when we were all a little more fresher of face and bouncier of step. We make these fritters all the time in the summer, and we’ve adapted the recipe by adding fresh corn and cheese, so we’ve been meaning to re-blog this recipe ever since. So finally, here is the updated article.

This recipe is part of our ongoing series with Serious Eats

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Vietnamese Summer Rolls with Peanut Dipping Sauce

Vietnamese Summer Rolls with Peanut Dipping Sauce Fresh, light and delicious, Vietnamese summer rolls are a great appetizer or light meal any time of the year. Crisp vegetables, bright herbs and shrimp are rolled in a rice paper wrapper, with a side of sweet and salty peanut sauce for dipping. 

If you’ve ever eaten at a Vietnamese restaurant (or had the pleasure of traveling to the country, you adventurer), you’ve probably had summer rolls. They’re sometimes called “fresh spring rolls” or “salad rolls”, but not to be confused with traditional spring rolls, which are often smaller, fried, and filled with cooked vegetables and pork. These are the epitome of fresh and light, filled with finely shredded raw vegetables (we used purple cabbage, carrots, cucumber & scallions, as well as butter lettuce), lots of bright herbs like mint, cilantro and basil, rice vermicelli noodles and poached shrimp, all wrapped up like a translucent burrito in a rice paper wrapper.

We love the flavors of Vietnamese cooking (as you can tell by some of our previous recipes: Vietnamese-style baked chicken and Vietnamese Grilled Pork Chops (Thit Heo Nuong Xa). I first made Vietnamese Summer Rolls over a decade ago and I’ve been wanting to make them again ever since. When we found out we were going to have a weekend houseguest, our 12-year-old niece Charlotte, who is an adventurous eater and a great cook in her own right, we thought these would be a fun dish to make together.

Vietnamese Summer Rolls with Peanut Dipping Sauce
Charlotte making a Summer Roll

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Cheesy Zucchini and Corn Fritters with Herb Sour Cream

Zucchini and Corn Fritters

If you grow your own summer squash, or belong to a CSA, the weekly glut of produce can be overwhelming. Our solution? Shred it, squeeze it, mix into a cheesy batter and fritter it away. Literally. 

If you grow your own summer squash, zucchini can sometimes feel like a plot device in a horror sci-fi movie. At the beginning of the season, you carefully harvest the first zucchini, cradle it like an infant and rest it with pride on the cutting board. The next day, you have two more, and with the proud thrill of the backyard farmer, you slice and grill your summer bounty. The next day you have two more, and two more the following day. By the end of the first week of peak zucchini, you’re nervously eyeing the stack of squash that has built up on the kitchen counter, wondering how many more friends you can gift your harvest to before even they stop answering the door.

And woe betide you if you skip checking for a few days – when you return to the garden and lift up the lowest squash leaf, you’ll inevitably find one monster marrow lurking like a squat green fiend.

Note: We originally blogged zucchini fritters back in 2013, when we were all a little more fresher of face and bouncier of step. We make these fritters all the time in the summer, and we’ve adapted the recipe by adding fresh corn and cheese, so we’ve been meaning to re-blog this recipe ever since. So finally, here is the updated article.

This recipe is part of our ongoing series with Serious Eats

Read more

Homemade Maple Mustard

Homemade Maple Mustard

If you like mustard, you seriously have to try making your own. It’s so much better than the jarred kind and it couldn’t be easier. Our Homemade Maple Mustard is a little sweet, a little spicy and tastes incredibly fresh. 

Yeah, I get it. The idea of homemade mustard is just a little bit precious. Bordering on the dreaded ‘artisanal’ label that plagues lovers of real, unpretentious food … but hear me out because this stuff is awesome and I really, really want you to make it.

The truth is, I think most things taste better homemade. Sure, jarred mustard can be good and I use it most of the time but for something really special (like a crazy-beautiful charcuterie board or a holiday ham), why not serve it with a condiment as special as the main dish? We knew we wanted to make Red Onion Jam with Wine, Honey and Thyme but we also wanted something spicy that would be good with charcuterie. And besides, I think there’s something cool and homesteader-ey about making something so inherently useful. 

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Basil Green Goddess Dressing

Basil Green Goddess Dressing

A creamy, herb-packed basil Green Goddess salad dressing that’s also light and refreshing. Our version uses basil in place of parsley, adding a sweet, summery note.

While you can’t throw a carrot without hitting a bottle of ranch dressing these days (seriously, Americans are obsessed with the stuff), in the 1960s and 70s, Green Goddess was king. Or Queen, I should say.

Invented in California and named after its distinctive color, the original version was a mix of tarragon, parsley, chives and scallions. It really took off in the 60s, the era of wedge iceberg salads and cream cheese stuffed celery sticks. Eventually, as trends  always do (sorry kale, your time is almost up), it fell out of favor. I can’t even remember the last time I’ve seen it on a menu.

And that’s a real shame because when made well, it’s absolutely delicious and so much better than ranch.

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