Zucchini beignets with chive-lemon yoghurt


We are inundated by a glut of zucchini and facing something of the usual dilemma what to do with them. It wasn’t really planned to be like that: I did not get a wheelbarrow full from a generous neighbour neither has my Mum been to visit with the bounty of her garden but I went to the store, loaded the basket and consciously bought the whole 3+ kg (and hauled it home) and was about to start a major pickling session. Well, my husband came home, sighed heavily while staring with blank eyes at the tiny mountain for minutes before he asked with a hollow, croaky (we have a cold) but strangely calming (the crazy?) voice whether we really needed half a ton of zucchini pickles? Nope, maybe not. He has a point.

So, here I am, with my self-inflicted zucchini glut and neither very sad about nor repented of it: there is a smashing squash gratin which we’ve had only once this year (grave oversight, Nicole! I’ll keep you posted on that one, see here), zucchini fritters, only half of ‘half a ton’ of zucchini pickles (on their way to your inbox next) and these delightful beignets with a refreshing chive-lemon yoghurt. Slices are dunked in a really thin batter which will encase the fried zucchini with a crispy tempura-like crust in just a mere minute. Have your platter ready and sprinkle right away with Maldon sea salt flakes, then dip each hot beignet in the cool, herb yoghurt and enjoy one ephemeral bite after the other. When your plate is emptying lightening fast, boy, will you be glad you had some more of those zucchini around.

Serve as an appetizer while still enjoying the remnants of summer (if you are somewhere else than here) or offer with a several glasses of something nice (a little theme here at the moment) or enjoy the whole load on your own for lunch… as I just did.

chive-lemon yoghurt

Zucchini beignets with chive-lemon yoghurt

Inspired by my favourite Chef de police, Bruno Courregès. I reworked the batter recipe from the Bruno cookbook (only published in Germany), which had some serious measurement issues.

250g / half a tub / 9oz. Greek yoghurt
a small bunch of chives, finely chopped
1 small garlic clove, grated or pressed
1 teaspoon olive oil
salt & white pepper
lemon juice (from about ½ lemon)

100g / 1 cup minus 2 tbsp. / 3.5 oz. flour
175ml / ¾ cup water
1 egg yolk

2 zucchini / courgette / squash
oil for frying

Maldon sea salt flakes

Make the chive-lemon dip by mixing Greek yoghurt, chives, garlic, oil and season with salt, pepper and lemon juice and fill into small bowls.

Fill oil in a deep frying pan to about 3 cm / 1¼ inches high and heat. Alternatively use a deep fat fryer.

Whisk flour, salt and water into a thin, smooth batter, incorporate the egg yolk. Cut zucchini into 5mm / ⅕ inch thick slices and dip into the batter and lower each slices into the hot oil. Fry several slices at one time (but being careful not to overcrowd the pan) for about 1-2 minutes until beginning to brown. Place on kitchen roll to absorb extra oil and serve immediately sprinkled with sea salt flakes and the chive-lemon dip.

Deutsches Rezept:

zucchini beignets

Zucchini beignets mit Schnittlauch-Zitronenjoghurt dip

Inspiriert von den Kochkünsten meines Lieblings Chef de police, Bruno Courregès. Ich habe das Rezept für den Ausbackteig aus dem deutschen Bruno Kochbuch genommen und überarbeitet, da die Maßangaben dort doch zuweilen leider etwas ab vom Schuß sind

250g Griechischer Joghurt (10%)t
kleines Bund Schnittlauch, fein gewogen
1 kleine Knoblauchzehe, gerieben oder gepresst
1 TL Olivenöl
Salz & weißer Pfeffer
Zitronensaft (von ca. ½ Zitrone)

100g Mehl
175ml Wasser
1 Eigelb

2 Zucchini
Öl zum ausbacken

Maldon sea salt flakes (= Maldon Salzflocken oder kleine Salzkristalle)

Joghurt, Schnittlauch, Knoblauch, Öl mischen und mit Salz, weißem Pfeffer und Zitronensaft abschmecken. In kleine Schälchen oder eine große Schale füllen.

Öl in eine tiefe Sauteuse oder Wok 3 cm hoch füllen und erhitzen. Alternativ eine offene Friteuse benutzen.

Mehl, Salz und Wasser zu einem dünnen, glatten Ausbackteig verrühren, dann das Eigelb einarbeiten. Zucchini in 5mm sicke Scheiben schneiden und jede Scheibe vorsichtig in das heiße Fett geben. Für 1-2 Minuten ausbacken, bis der Teig kross und beginnt goldbraun zu werden. Mehrere beignets können zur gleichen Zeit frittiert werden, dabei aber darauf achten, den Topf nicht zu überfüllen (da die Temperatur zu stark abfällt und die beignets sehr viel Öl aufsaugen würden). Aus dem heißen Öl auf Küchenpapier geben um das überschüssige Öl abtropfen zu lassen und sofort mit den Salzflocken bestreut vom Schnittlauch-Zitronenjoghurt begleitet servieren. Mal sehen wie schnell die alle werden – Gottseidank hat man meistens ja noch mehr Zucchini im Haus…

8 thoughts on “Zucchini beignets with chive-lemon yoghurt

    • Zucchini bread is a great idea, Gerlinde, I have never made it before. Do you have a good recipe you can recommend? We’ll better eat it right away, our freezer is at bursting point.
      This year everything seems to be extreme in CA: drought, massive fires and did you feel any repercussions of the Chilean earthquake your way? N xx

      • Nicole, I have a recipe for Zucchini bread somewhere in my files. I see if I can find it. The fires are horrible, my sister in law told me it was snowing ashes in Sonora. We didn’t feel the earthquake. We are having humpback whales coming close to the beach. Everyone is watching them. Did you see the BBC “big Blue” series about the Montery Bay. It’s wonderful.

      • Thanks, Gerlinde, that would be great. Scary, if the fires are so close. Amazing that the whales are coming so close to the shore this year, fascinating. We’ve heard the story about the whale and the kayak in the Bay. No, haven’t seen Big Blue yet, but now definitely have to watch it soon. I miss going to Monterey, especially the Aquarium. We had been members for a few years and could pop in whenever we wanted. Big sigh.

    • Embarrassingly gluttonous as it is, it felt really good to have the whole plate to myself. Re zucchini recipes, so true! I’ll hurry up with my pickles recipe, they were marinading overnight and emanate a wonderful sweet, savoury smell. Best way to cope with a lot of courgettes on your hands. Hard to resist for a few weeks but then they last for the year. N xx

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