My four-year-old has always been an amazing eater. Her first food was a hunk of potato grilled with olive oil, and she grew from there into a full-blown foodie. Sure, she's had a phase or two - for a while she wouldn't eat meat at all, then she wouldn't eat ground meat, then she'd eat any meat as long as I told her it was chicken (regardless of what it actually was). She'd eat chicken strips but she wouldn't eat chicken nuggets. But, for the most part, she'd eat anything I put in front of her, and she never met a vegetable she didn't like.
Until zucchini. My hubby and I LOVE grilled zucchini, and I used to make it often during the summer months (not this summer - my grill needs some new parts). Well, my girl got it in her head that she did NOT like zucchini. Not sure what that lovely green squash ever did to her, but she did not like it. Maybe it's because that was my dad's nickname for her when she was a baby. Who knows. At any rate, she agreed that if I ever served it she would take her three "no thank you" bites, and I agreed that I would always have a different vegetable available for her.
We like to watch cooking shows together at bedtime from time to time. The other night we were watching Money Saving Meals with Sandra Lee, and she was making zucchini cakes. My daughter thought they looked AMAZING and begged me to make them. I reminded her they had zucchini in them, and she said that was fine because it was little pieces, not big hunks. Okay...whatever gets her to enjoy a previously pooh-poohed vegetable, right?
Saturday I took her to the farmer's market and she picked out two lovely zucchinis. Giant ones, so we only actually needed one, but I'll shred the other for muffins. And last night, I made...zucchini fritters.
Adapted from Sandra Lee
Serves 6 - 8
1 1/2 pounds zucchini
1 1/2 c. baking mix, such as Bisquick
1 cup diced sweet onion
3 cloves minced garlic
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
canola or vegetable oil
Preheat the oven to 225. Place a cooling rack on a baking sheet and place it in the oven to warm up.
Slice the zucchini in half and scoop out the seedy middle. Grate into a towel and wring out all the excess water. Place in a bowl and add all remaining ingredients except the oil. Stir to combine. It will seem very dry at first but as it sits, more water will come out of the zucchini and combine to make a nice batter.
In a large skillet over medium heat (I used cast iron - worked beautifully), add oil to 1/4 inch depth. Drop spoonfuls of batter into the oil, pressing down lightly to flatten. Fry until golden brown, about three minutes, flip and fry until golden brown on the other side, a couple more minutes. Remove to the prepared baking sheet and place in the oven to keep warm while you fry the rest.