Food & dining

The Confident Cook

Recipe: Turn zucchini and corn, a favorite summer duo, into crisp fritters with spicy mayo

photo by karoline boehm goodnick recipe by karoline boehm goodnick recipe for zucchini and corn fritters with spicy basil mayonnaise slug for food: xxkarorec
Karoline Boehm Goodnick for The Boston Globe
Zucchini-corn fritters with spicy basil mayo

Zucchini and corn are a favorite summer duo. Here, fresh corn kernels add flavor and texture to fritters. Akin to latkes or other savory fried rounds, these rustic little patties make a satisfying summer nibble on the patio before dinner or as a side to grilled chicken or fish. Begin by tossing shredded zucchini with salt in a colander and letting it sit for an hour to release much of its water. With your hands, squeeze out any remaining liquid. This concentrates the flavor and helps the fritter batter from becoming too wet. While you’re waiting, stir loads of fresh basil and hot cherry peppers into mayonnaise to make a spicy sauce.

Make a batter with the zucchini, sauteed corn and onions, and Parmesan, all held together with eggs, panko breadcrumbs, and flour. Add dollops of batter to hot oil in a skillet and smash them lightly. The key is to wait until the rounds have browned sufficiently on one side before turning. The fritters are quite delicate; darker patties will be easier to flip and have a nutty flavor and crisp texture. They are best eaten hot; keep them warm in a low oven until you’re ready to serve them with the mayo. The patio table never looked this good.

Zucchini-corn fritters with spicy basil mayo

Serves 6

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MAYO

½cup chopped fresh basil
1clove garlic, finely chopped
2pickled hot cherry peppers, chopped
Grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
1cup mayonnaise
Salt and black pepper, to taste

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1. In a bowl, combine the basil, garlic, hot peppers, lemon rind and juice, and mayonnaise. Stir well.

2. Add salt and pepper and taste for seasoning. Add more lemon, salt, or pepper, if you like. Cover and refrigerate.

FRITTERS

4large zucchini, shredded
2tablespoons kosher salt, and more to taste
2tablespoons olive oil
1onion, chopped
2cloves garlic, finely chopped
2ears fresh corn, kernels removed
3eggs
cups panko breadcrumbs
½cup flour
1cup shredded Parmesan
Black pepper, to taste
½cup vegetable oil

1. In a colander, toss zucchini with the 2 tablespoons salt. Place the colander over a bowl. Let it sit for 1 hour to drain. Squeeze with your hands to remove any remaining water.

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2. Set the oven at 200 degrees.

3. In a skillet over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and garlic. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Add the corn and cook 2 minutes more. Transfer to a large bowl. With paper towels, wipe out the skillet.

4. To the bowl of onions, add the zucchini, eggs, panko, flour, Parmesan, a pinch of salt, and black pepper. Stir well.

5. Set a metal cooling rack inside a rimmed baking sheet.

6. In the skillet over medium-high heat, heat ¼ cup of the vegetable oil. Working in batches, drop the batter in 2 tablespoon mounds and flatten lightly. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes on the first side, or until browned on the bottom sides and firm enough to turn. Turn and cook the other sides for 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to the metal rack and keep warm in the oven. Use the remaining batter to fry more fritters, adding the remaining ¼ cup vegetable oil to the skillet when needed.

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7. Serve hot with the spicy mayo. Karoline Boehm Goodnick

Karoline Boehm Goodnick can be reached at kboehmgoodnick@gmail.com