- 4 medium zucchini, sliced into 1/8-inch rounds
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt, plus more as needed
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup olive or vegetable oil for frying, plus more as needed
- 1 lemon cut into large wedges
- 1 recipe Tzatziki (recipe follows), optional
- 1/2 seedless English cucumber, peeled
- 1 teaspoon sea salt, divided, plus more to taste
- 2 cups plain Greek yogurt
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and mashed into a paste
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon red or white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh dill
Serves 4 to 6
Fried zucchini is a staple on nearly every menu in Greece. When it's prepared well, I am sure nothing on the planet tastes better. For a party, this is great alternative to chips.
1. Gently squeeze the zucchini rounds over the sink to drain the excess water. Lightly season both sides of the zucchini slices with the salt and pepper. Spread the flour out on a large plate or baking dish. Dredge the zucchini in the flour, and shake off any excess.
2. Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat until it shimmers, adding more if necessary to come 1/2-inch up the sides of the pan. Test the temperature of the oil by gently placing 1 zucchini round into it. The oil should bubble pretty vigorously around the zucchini. Working in small batches, carefully slip the zucchini into the hot oil, and cook briefly, until crunchy and golden, about 4 to 5 minutes per side, watching carefully and turning to prevent burning.
3. Using a slotted metal spoon, transfer the fried zucchini to a large plate lined with paper towels to drain. Sprinkle again with a little more of the salt while piping hot, if desired. Serve immediately with the lemon wedges and with Tzatziki, if desired.
Garlic Yogurt Cucumber Sauce
Yield 2 1/2 cups
Tzatziki is one of the best-known Greek culinary exports. Although you could potentially kill a vampire after eating it, I strongly believe that the more garlicky kick it has, the better it tastes. Still, I would not recommend partaking of this spicy spread before a business meeting or a hot date. When I was a teen spending my summers in Greece, my cousins and I would never eat tzatziki before going out to the clubs . . . especially if we were trying to impress the boys!
Like ketchup on an American hamburger, tzatziki is ubiquitous on a gyro. Try it as a sauce for fish, or enjoy it as an appetizer or a snack with chunks of country bread. Whichever way you choose to enjoy it, if you like garlic, you’ll love this recipe.
1. Coarsely grate the cucumber using a box grater or food processor, and toss with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Place the grated cucumber in a fine-mesh sieve set over a bowl, and drain for 10 minutes. Working in batches, a handful at a time, squeeze as much remaining water from the cucumber as possible, transferring the drained cucumber to a medium mixing bowl.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients along with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and mix well. You can serve the Tzatziki immediately, but I prefer to let it sit in refrigerator for 2 to 3 hours so that all of the flavors blend and come alive. Tzatziki will keep for up to 5 days in the refrigerator, but be warned: the garlicky flavor intensifies as time passes!