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Summer Squash at its Best

By Constance Smith

Summer is in full swing, and if you garden or visit the farmers market at all, you know there is an abundance of zucchini. Gardeners often find themselves with more zucchini than they know what to do with, so here are two of my favorite ways to use it.

Zucchini Corn Fritters

Zucchini Corn Fritters have a wonderful crunch on the outside and all the goodness of fresh zucchini on the inside. The fritters can be served as a side or are hearty enough to have as the main dish. I serve these with a curry mayo dipping sauce.

Ingredients

· 1 lb. zucchini

· 2 tsp. fresh lemon zest

· 1 tsp. salt

· 2 Tb. parsley

· 1 clove garlic, grated (optional)

· 1/2 tsp. fresh ground black pepper

· 2/3 cup whole kernel corn, fresh or frozen

· 2 eggs, whisked

· 1 cup all-purpose flour

· oil for frying; I use extra virgin olive oil

· Optional toppings: one lemon, cut into wedges; sour cream; or curry mayo (3/4 cup mayonnaise plus 1 tsp. curry powder, whisked together)

Instructions

1. To begin, shred up the zucchini and toss it in a mixing bowl.

2. Add in the fresh lemon zest, salt, pepper, parsley, garlic, corn and eggs. Stir this all together so that everything is coated with the egg.

3. Sprinkle the flour all over the mixture and stir it all in. Mix until there are no lumps of flour.

4. In a skillet, heat about a quarter cup or so of oil over medium heat. You want the bottom of the skillet to have a thin layer of oil. When the oil is nice and hot, but not smoking,

scoop the mixture by 1/4 cups at a time into the oil. Allow it to sit there and cook for two to three minutes until it is golden on the bottom.

5. Carefully turn the fritter over and cook it on the other side until golden, around two to three minutes again.

6. Place the cooked fritters on a platter lined with paper towels and repeat with the remaining batter.

7. Keep the fritters that are already cooked warm by setting your platter in a warm (not hot) oven while the others cook.

8. Serve them with your favorite topping and enjoy!

Baked Zucchini Chips

Zucchini Chips are simple to make and oh so good! You can serve these as a side dish, a healthy appetizer or even a great snack. I can’t even begin to count how many batches of these I have made in the past couple of years. They are the No. 1 zucchini recipe I look forward to making every summer.

Ingredients

· 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese

· 1/3 cup panko bread crumbs

· 4 fresh basil leaves, finely minced

· 1/4 tsp. garlic powder

· 1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

· pinch of sea salt

· 2 zucchinis

· 1 Tb. extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

1. To begin, preheat your oven to 425 degrees.

2. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Set them aside.

3. In a shallow dish, stir together the parmesan cheese, panko bread crumbs, minced basil, garlic powder, black pepper and sea salt. Set it aside.

4. Slice the zucchini into very thin slices, about 1/4 to 1/8 inch. Place the slices in a bowl and drizzle them with the oil. Toss to coat.

5. Dip a zucchini slice in the breading mixture, coating both sides. Place the slice on a lined baking sheet. Repeat the process until they are all coated. The slices should be spaced enough so they are not touching.

6. Bake the zucchini chips for about 25 minutes or until they are just turning slightly golden on top. Enjoy!