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Appetizers, Vegetarian

Herbed zucchini and feta fritters

Istanbul By 11 p.m., the street theater on Nevizade Street, a narrow lane lined with outdoor restaurants around Istanbul's fish market, works up to a kind of Felliniesque mayhem. Flower sellers push big thorny roses at passersby's noses, while a ... Read more

Total time: 1 hour, 30 minutes, plus refrigerator time | Makes 36 fritters
  • 1 1/2 cups plain yogurt, preferably full-fat organic
  • 1 large garlic clove, crushed through a garlic press
  • Salt
  • 1 pound zucchini (about 2 large), shredded in a food processor using a three-eighths-inch hole
  • 4 ounces feta, grated
  • 1/3 cup minced dill
  • 1/3 cup minced parsley
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced mint leaves
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • Mild olive oil for frying

Step 1Place yogurt in a small sieve lined with cheesecloth and set over a bowl. Drain in the refrigerator for 2 hours or overnight.

Step 2Place drained yogurt in a bowl, stir in garlic and salt to taste and let mixture stand at room temperature while preparing fritters.

Step 3Place shredded zucchini in a fine sieve and press hard against the sieve to extract as much liquid as possible. In a large bowl, mix zucchini, feta, dill, parsley and mint and stir until well combined.

Step 4 Sift flour and baking powder into bowl. Add half of mixture to the eggs and stir to form a smooth paste. Stir paste into zucchini and combine thoroughly. Sprinkle in the rest of the flour mixture and stir in well. Let stand for about 10 minutes. Stir again.

Step 5Line a cookie sheet with paper towels. In a 12-inch skillet, heat 1 inch of oil to 375 degrees, or until a drop of batter sizzles on contact. Drop 3 (1-tablespoon) portions of batter into oil without overcrowding and flatten lightly with the back of a spoon. Fry until deep golden and crusty, about 1 1/2 minutes per side. With a slotted spoon, transfer fritters to the paper towels to drain and continue to fry remaining fritters. Serve hot or warm, with the yogurt dip.

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