Those of you who have been following my blog know that I love trying new cuisines. In fact, I love the challenge of learning about the ingredients, spices and cooking techniques unique to different cultures. Over the past two years, my blog has become a place to chronicle my journey experimenting with recipes and exploring cuisines that I’ve never tried before.
Recently, I was asked to participate in a virtual Mid-East Feast to celebrate the upcoming release of An Edible Mosaic, authored and photographed by my fellow blogging friend, Faith Gorsky. Brandy from Nutmeg Nanny is organizing this month-long event where a group of fabulous foodie bloggers will be sharing a different recipe for the next three weeks – an appetizer this week, a main course next week, and a dessert the following week. The fourth week will culminate in a review and giveaway of a copy of An Edible Mosaic.
I have to say that I was more than excited to have this opportunity to not only learn more about Middle Eastern cuisine, but to have the perfect excuse to try my hand at cooking Middle Eastern foods. Although I’ve learned how to make dishes representing lots of different cultures, I know little about Middle Eastern cuisine. Sure, I’ve had falafel, shish kebab, and hummus, but I haven’t had much else.
This past week, I made Faith’s Zucchini Fritters (using a gluten-free flour mix recipe my friend recommended), which are often served as an appetizer, for breakfast, or as part of a Maza Platter. Maza Platters are often eaten at breakfast and dinner (which are the smaller meals of the day), and may also be served before lunch (the largest meal of the day) or as a snack. Think about a Maza Platter as a large platter filled with small plates and bowls of appetizers (like tapas). In addition to dips and spreads, you might find cut up tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce leaves, celery sticks, olives, leftover vegetable dishes, olive oil and Za’atar spice mix. In the Middle East, food served in this style are eaten with your hands or with flatbread.
These Zucchini Fritters are actually more like savory pancake, flavored with onion and garlic. The texture is almost a cross between an omelette and a pancake. I made these the other day just as one of my kids was walking in the door after school. He asked what I was making and when I told him “Zucchini Fritters,” he immediately responded, “You shouldn’t have told me there was zucchini in those, because now I won’t like them.” Well, let’s just say that after he tried one, he had another and then another. I actually had to hide a stash to save for my husband and one of my other kids. Although these savory pancakes can be eaten at room temperature, I prefer them warm.
I am currently obsessed with trying the recipes in An Edible Mosaic. Over the next several weeks, I’ll be sharing two more recipes from Faith’s upcoming cookbook, although I can tell you that I will be making many other recipes. This past weekend, I assembled my first Maza Platter for a church picnic and included Faith’s suggestions – Eggplant Dip (Mutabbal Batinjan), Bell Pepper Walnut Dip (Muhammara), Yogurt Cheese (Labneh) and Colorful Cabbage Salad with Lemony Mint Salad Dressing (Salatit Malfoof). I was hoping to include Beet Salad with Tahini Dressing, which I made the other night (so simple to make and incredibly good), but ran out of time. The Maza Platter was a hit, with the Bell Pepper Walnut Dip and Eggplant Dip coming out on top as the favorites.
Give these Zucchini Fritters a try – you won’t be disappointed. For my next Maza Platter, I will be including a batch of these.
An Edible Mosaic is due out November 6, but you can pre-order it now.
Here are the eight other fabulous bloggers participating in the Mid-East Feast. Please pop by and see how their Zucchini Fritters turned out this week.
Brandy – Nutmeg Nanny
Amanda – Fake Ginger
Gina – Running to the Kitchen
Joanne – Eats Well With Others
Heather – Girlichef
Natasha – Five Star Foodie
Megan – What’s Megan Making
Rachel – Baked by Rachel
Gluten-Free Zucchini Fritters
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion diced
- 1 medium zucchini grated (I used a food processor)
- 2 cloves garlic crushed in a mortar and pestle with 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 large eggs
- 4 tablespoons gluten-free flour mix
- 1/2 bunch fresh parsley minced
- Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat; add onion and cook until it starts to soften, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add zucchini and cook until softened and the water has evaporated, about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally; add garlic and cook 1 minute more, stirring occasionally. Cool slightly.
Lightly beat together eggs, flour, parsley, and pepper in a medium bowl. Stir in zucchini mixture.
Lightly coat a large cast iron skillet or nonstick skillet with 1 tablespoon oil. Drop batter into hot pan using a small cup (about 2 tablespoons). Fry until set and golden on one side, about 2 minutes; flip and cook until set and golden on the other side, about 1 minute.
Transfer cooked fritters to a paper towel-lined plate to drain any excess oil, and cook the remainder egg mixture in the same way, adding more oil to the skillet as needed.
Used with permission from An Edible Mosaic by Faith E. Gorsky
I LOVED these fritters! And agree that it’s been so much fun to learn more about Middle Eastern cuisine through faith’s book!
Joanne – weren’t these the best! My kids gobbled them down – I’m going to have to make more again soon. I’ve really been enjoying trying recipes from Faith’s new cookbook and learning more about Middle Eastern spices and all the little tricks and tips. It’s been a lot of fun and I’m looking forward to the next few weeks of trying even more recipes!
Thank you so, so much for your kind words about my book, Jeanette. I know a simple “thank-you” isn’t enough — your kindness and support means more to me than words can express.
I love how your son enjoyed these fritters even though he isn’t a fan of zucchini! That is music to my ears. 🙂 And I’m still swooning over your beautiful maza platter!
Faith – I am so impressed with your book – what an incredible undertaking – to learn a new culture and cuisine, and to document all the little details, write all the recipes and photograph all the food! I have been having so much fun trying your recipes and learning my way around the spices and presentations of the food – so fascinating. Can’t wait to try even more of your recipes. You have made Middle Eastern cuisine so accessible for which I am so thankful. It is a cuisine I know so little about, so I can’t wait to delve in even more. Best wishes on the release of your new book!
Faith’s cookbook sounds incredible! I’ve been trying to play around with more middle eastern spices too, will definitely have try out some of these recipes – especially that eggplant dip, love all things eggplant!
Kristina, if you’re trying to learn more about Middle Eastern cuisine, I would highly recommend Faith’s new cookbook. She covers ingredients, techniques, tips and tricks that are so helpful, not to mention lots of great recipes. I’ve been trying lots of the recipes and everything has been so good!
ea-the spicy rd says
What a gorgeous maza platter & the book sounds divine! I made some zucchini & feta fritters this summer, & my daughter, who previously had turned up her nose at zucchini, devoured them! These fritters look delicious-will try them for sure!
Brian @ A Thought For Food says
This book looks fantastic! And this recipe… it’s calling my name.
Carolyn Jung says
Just got the book in the mail, too. Can’t wait to start cooking from it. Might just have to start with these dazzling fritters.
suzi fichman says
thank you for sharing this beautiful dish with us!! i am getting the order in early for this book and can’t wait to get rid of the leftovers in the fridge, so i can whip these babies up!!!
Alyssa (Everyday Maven) says
Great post Jeanette and your kids always sound like so much fun. I really love how you keep them involved in food and the kitchen!
I LOVE Mid East food. It’s delicious. I want to pick one up right now!
Kiran @ KiranTarun.com says
Faith’s recipes are so drool-worthy! I love the mid-east flavors 🙂
5 Star Foodie says
The zucchini fritters were delicious 🙂 I love your maza platter – looks fabulous!
I adore zucchini fritters…I have a low carb version of these but I’ve never bothered to write up the recipe. Mostly because I eat up the fritters too quickly! 🙂
Matt mmWine Horbund says
What an interesting looking dish! I’m putting it on the must-try list!
Joanne @ inspired Taste says
These look wonderful! So lovely.
amanda @ fake ginger says
They look delicious! My kids don’t like zucchini either but they enjoyed these!
baker street says
Faith’s cookbook sounds terrific! You’re right – there’s so much more to learn about middle eastern food! These zucchini fritters sound incredible, Jeanette!
I hope you all check out Faith’s book – it’s coming out in a few weeks. Some great recipes in it and she does a fabulous job explaining all the little tricks to make sure the recipes come out.
Lisa | With Style and Grace says
Oh, I must try these!!
France @ Beyond The Peel says
I love Middle Eastern food. Mostly because I love the combination of flavors they use. What a beautiful recipe.
Laureen @FoxKitchen says
Yum, I just want to gobble those zucchini fritters up!
Pinned, shared on Facebook and adding to my MMM Must-Make-Monday series 🙂