Zucchini Fritters with Tzatziki

French Fridays with Dorie

Zucchini Fritters with Tzatziki

As I present these Zucchini Fritters with Tzadziki sauce there is now a creeping atmosphere of excitement among many of the bloggers over at “Camp Dorie” as summer begins to wind down and early-fall shows itself on the horizon. Usually this time of year, when my local drugstore puts out the Halloween costumes on the same day I bring home my first case of fresh peaches, I get pissed off. But not this time. This time I’m excited to see fall arrive.

The International Food Bloggers Conference (IFBC), held in Seattle each year, is only a month away and although the gathering is not an officially sanctioned French Fridays with Dorie event, many of my fellow Doristas (we who are cooking our way through Dorie Greenspan’s tome Around My French Table one recipe at a time) will be in attendance – this Dorista included. Not only will this be the first time many of us have ever actually come face-to-face with another Dorista in the wild but it is also the first time that most of us will get face-to-face with a real, live Dorie Greenspan.

As luck will have it Mme Greenspan herself will be serving as the keynote speaker of the assembly and this has me absolutely beside myself with excitement in a way that somewhat surprises me. I’ve only seen a Dorie Greenspan on television once or twice and in her Baking with Dorie IOS app (available on iTunes.) The level of excitement I’m feeling at only the possible chance I might get to meet her and exchange a ‘hello’ is catching me off guard. It’s just not like me.

I’m really not all that much on being starstruck. Having grown up in or near Los Angeles most of my life I’ve come in contact with quite a few ‘notables’ and by and large the whole fame idea never felt like much to me. I’ve handed Frank Sinatra a sandwich (“thanks pal”) and I’ve ridden up in an elevator with Cher twice (“four please”). No big deal. I’m even closely related to more than one well known celebrity-type person and am friends (or at least friendly acquaintances) with several more.

Usually I find famous people a bit annoying and the thought of meeting them just doesn’t impress me much.

But Dorie? Um… this feels very different. This is the woman who has had more impact on my culinary life than any other woman save my mother. (Yes, even Julia.) She has informed my cooking, my writing, and even my friendships and those are all very powerful areas of my life. So, I fully predict that when and if the moment comes that I am within 30 feet of her I will suddenly transform into an incoherent (if not fully mute) hyperventilating mess. Should I even get close enough to eek out a ‘hello’ it will no doubt sound like a grunt or a stammer.

I have prepared myself for this by scripting an alternate reality that plays out a bit differently.

Zucchini Fritters with Tzatziki

I will extend my hand graciously to Mme Greenspan and tell her what a pleasure it is to finally meet her and tell her how much fun it has been to cook my way through her book; what an inspiration her effortless and engaging writing style has been to me; and what an honor it is to finally get to say so to her face. Coherently. I will thank her for bringing Gerard’s Mustard Tart into my life and of course I will have to apologize for taking a dagger to her delicious Coeur a la Creme.

She will laugh and encourage me to engage further so I will even though throngs of her fans are still waiting to say hello. We’ll soon be exchanging knowing looks and shared secrets with each other such things as our favorite brands of pimente d’espellete. Then as she remembers that she must go back to the others she will invite my husband and I to join her and her husband Michael for a vermouth cocktail and some spicy Signature Nuts later in the evening.  She never travels without a secret stash of these which is an amazing coincidence because neither do I! During cocktails I will ask her bout her son Joshua and gush on about about my pilgrimage to  Beurre y Sel last spring and she will giggle and laugh at our funny stories about Margarita, our cat. (This is a fantasy, remember?)

As our cocktail gathering comes to its natural conclusion (“Gosh, where did the time go?”) Dorie will suggest we look them up the next time in we are in Paris…which by coincidence is only the next week!  We do, and while my husband and Michael decide to go off looking at car shows and military museums, Dorie and I wander the Paris food markets to discover fun things to bring back with us and cook for dinner. Together. In her kitchen. In Paris. The same city where David Lebovitz lives.

“Really Trevor, anytime you and your darling husband are in town you really should just plan on staying here. Use your key.”


Doesn’t that sound so much better?

Zucchini Fritters with Tzatziki

It is no secret that I’ve not always been much at keeping pace with the rest of the Doristas each week so I was happy to see that this week was a “Make Up Friday” where anything missed previously could be posted. For my part I didn’t have to go back very far to find a recipe I had still to create: Tzatziki. You know things are pretty crazy with life if you can’t  find the few minutes required to make this delicious Greek condiment most often used as a sauce for gyros and kebabs.

Apparently it is now finding its way onto French tables, Dorie’s included, as a sauce for sandwiches, tartines, and even as a dressing for fresh vegetables and salads. A dollop of this stuff on a few slices of  tomatoes given to us by a friend was the culinary highlight of my week. Just sayin’.

I show it here with some traditionally prepared zucchini fritters as this end-of-summer-fall-is-on-the-horizon season also means we are at that part of the year when our neighbors and friends begin to realize they can’t possibly eat all the zucchini they are growing and begin to beg and  plead with us to take some of it off their hands.

We do…er, did, and this delicious lunch was the result. I think I may make some up for Dorie the next time w’re all together in Paris.

Zucchini Fritters with Tzatziki

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 4 Servings (with extra tzadziki for later!)

Zucchini Fritters with Tzatziki

Grate both the cucumber and zucchini at the same time as each needs to drain for 30 minutes. Then, while the tzatziki is waiting and chilling in the refrigerator you can start in on the fritters. Do as Dorie suggests and try your tzatziki on sliced tomatoes or as a dip for cut veggies or as a condiment with any grilled meat

This is what you will need:

    For the tzatziki:
  • 2 cups greek yogurt
  • 1 cup coarsely grated cucumber, seedless
  • 2 Tbs fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, split, germ removed and minced
  • 2 Tbs minced fresh dill
  • 2 Tbs minced fresh mint
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • For the zucchini fritters:
  • 2 cups grated zucchini
  • 1/2 cup grated potato
  • kosher salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives
  • 1 tablespoon chopped mint
  • zest of one lemon
  • 1/4 cup chopped white onion
  • 1 or 2 tablespoons unsalted butter for frying

This is how you make it:

    To make the tzatziki:
  1. Coarsely grate cucumber and put into a small bowl and add ½ teaspoon salt and mix well. Let it sit for 30 minutes to let the water seep out. Drain it well and squeeze out as much remaining water as you can. Add the yogurt to the bowl and mix in the rest of the ingredients, check for seasonings. Cover and keep in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
  2. To make the zucchini fritters:
  3. Please the zucchini and potato in a bowl and sprinkle with salt. Let sit for 30 minutes to let the moisture drain out. Squeeze out all of the remaining moisture by wrapping the zucchini and potato in paper towels and squeezing again. Removing moisture is critical so blot with more paper towels if necessary. Open up paper towel and dust the veggies with the flour to get at more of the moisture.
  4. In a bowl, whisk together the egg, herbs, and lemon zest. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add onion and grated zucchini potato mixture and stir well.
  5. Preheat oven to 200 degrees and place a foil lined cookie sheet in the oven.
  6. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and melt 1 tablespoon of butter . When the foam subsides drop a large spoonful of batter into the pan and use the back of the spoon to flatten and even out the shape of the fritters. The flatter the fritter the crispier it will get.
  7. You can cook about 3 or 4 fritters at a time depending on the size of your pan. Cook until each side is golden brown and just showing 'burn'. Place fritters in the oven while you finish cooking the batter.
  8. Serve as soon as possible with the tzatziki.


For another great zucchini-yogurt combination please check out this post  over at yogurtmaker.ca I wrote as part of their Thought Leader series. Zucchini yogurt soup is another great way to show off this winning flavor combination!

About Trevor Kensey

To be truthful, I don't know what “Sis. Boom. [blog!]" means either. The name implies something explosive just happened I suppose I would like it if each post would make made a small 'boom' in your day or at least a fizzle. Even though a recipe is included with every post I have a hard time calling this a "food blog" or even myself a "food blogger".

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  1. I can just see it! You and Dorie are going to be INSTANT BFFs. Before you know it, you two will be solving crimes together. Don’t forget about me!!! I am good at solving crimes also. That said, I would love to see the two of you in a Culinary Rom Com – something along the lines of the Galloping Gourmet meets Roman Holiday???

  2. Dorie is going to love you. And she’s every bit as nice as you imagine, only nicer! SO jealous I can’t get to IFBC but West Coast flights combined with a full time teachers’ schedule mean I just can’t make the time 🙁 You’ll all have to give her (and all the other Doristas) a huge hug for me!

  3. In my perfect scenario, I will manage to get my greeting haiku to you without ‘breaking’, will not be a screechy mess every time I meet a new Dorista, and will manage to actually be articulate in front of Dorie. I’m not asking for much. 🙂

    Oh gosh, I’ve said too much.

    There will be many, many sweet people missed, but boy I can’t wait.

  4. I love it, Trevor! And, I can’t wait to meet YOU!

  5. This post is hilarious. The idea of you blushing with Dorie is interesting, to put it mildly, jaja
    Life is a mess when you don´t find the time to make tzatziki, I agree completely. It’s my new favorite condiment, and it ends up on everything almost. Perfect with fritters! Which by the way were my mother´s answer to dinner, like your stuff on toast. All leftovers were fritter material…

  6. You are a hoot! I am going to be your shadow when you meet Dorie so I can hear the real dialogue. Your fritters and tzatziki are perfect together!

    PS…the hubby doesn’t drink cocktails…only lagers, cherry Koolaid, and milk…so I couldn’t sneak a cucumber into any of those…LOL. A gourmet palate is not one of his strong suits.

  7. Now those zucchini fritters look amazing!

  8. You really made me laugh but I CAN see it happening actually! I will be one of the adoring fans standing behind you with my hand out and mouth open and nothing coming out except ‘uh, uh’. No clever patter I’m afraid. When you and Dorie become besties please remember the rest of us. I’m looking forward to meeting you Trevor!

  9. Those fritters look like a good way to use up some of the growing pile of zucchini in my fridge. And an excuse to make another batch of tzatziki. Looking forward to meeting you in Seattle!

  10. I love your Dorie fantasy – it sounds perfect! Those fritters look quite tasty and I may have to give them a try.

  11. I love that you served the tzatziki with the zucchini fritters. The fritters are one of my favorite things having made them twice recently. I also love your Dorie scenario … too perfect. I have met her on a couple of occasions and look forward to seeing her again … although I’m more than positive she has no clue who I am!

  12. Love that fantasy. I’m not fazed by celebrity either, but last year when I met (and spoke to) writer Tim O’Brien, I was more or less reduced to incoherency. I hope if the same thing happens to you, Dorie is as gracious to you as he was to me.

  13. Highly entertaining! I am insanely jealous and sad that I will not be able to join up and meet everyone next month. But I look forward to hearing the stories and seeing the pictures. Here’s hoping that your fantasy comes true.

  14. Ooooh I’m so jealous! I’m half a world away 🙁
    But I bet you’ll all have so much fun meeting each other. Like Rose, I want to see pictures and all the juicy stories!

  15. I am going to have to attend one of these blogging conventions some time. I bet they would be wonderful. Now as for you meeting the great Ms. Greenspan, that will indeed be a treat. However, I really think it will be more of a treat for her. Just think of how heartwarming it must be for her to realize that you and the other Doristas devote this many hours among you to do the French Fridays. Believe me, Trevor, what ever it means to you and the others can be multiplied a thousandfold to get to what it means to her.

  16. So, so terribly jealous… the conference and the idea of meeting Dorie and other Doristas is just too wonderful. I agree that Dorie is going to love you. How could she not?
    Even though the way Dorie writes recipes frustrates me to know end ( I’m such a cooks illustrated, overly specific type) she has an amazing eye for a good recipe. Dorie is truly an artist that has changed the way, and the combination of ingredients I now use. Have too much fun! and do blog about it.

  17. I LOVED this post. I was in there right to the end all the while knowing it was a fantasy. I can see it happening.

    You will have such a good time meeting Dorie and you won’t blabber at all when she gives you the key.

    Can’t wait to see the Paris photos.

  18. I’m sure it will all happen as you wish. Have a wonderful experience.

  19. I served my leftover tzatziki with zucchini fritters too. I really enjoyed the pairing. Your post is too funny! I tend to get nervous around people I don’t know, especially celebrities. The conference sounds like so much fun.

  20. Very good scripting and follow up. Will wait patiently for theatrical version to hit theatres.

  21. Oh dear lord this was hilarious. Yet I can firmly say that I can see it all happening. If it does pan out, please consider having David and Romain bring along a homemade dessert……

    Nana and I are already VERY excited to make it to the IFBC, not only to meet our hero Dorie- but to meet YOU (and our other wonderful Doristas). And btw- that photo is so stuning you make me want to go to a photography course. Stat.

  22. cant wait for September! It will be truly fantastic!! 🙂 At least you found something else to do with all the zucchini you’ve been getting!

  23. I can’t wait to hear a full report about the convention, and I totally get the strange conflict of feeling totally starstruck by Dorie, while simultaneously thinking it’s weird to be starstruck by a lady who makes awesome cookbooks. I’m certain I’d be a bumbling idiot, much as I was when I got John Irving to sign my copy of his book. I’ve mentally blocked out what I said, but the result was that he retracted his head into his neck, turned his head to the side, squinted, veeeery slowly handed me back my book, and said a slow, uncertain, “Thaanks?” The question mark was definitely a real thing. haha. I may have overanalyzed it, but I walked away feeling totally mortified. Dorie is awesomer (yes, I decided it’s a word) because I don’t think she’d make you feel embarrassed, even if you should be. ha!

  24. Oh my gosh, Trevor! Lol!! It is you, I can’t wait to meet! You are hysterical and I love your satire! I am sure Dorie will love meeting you! I hope your scenario plays out the way you imagine it! Just remember the rest of us when it does! See you in September…!

  25. Your meeting Dorie is going to fall into line, Trevor, so memorize your script. That was absolutely and too wonderful, my dear. As I’ve written, I met Julia during her last visit to the Aspen Food & Wine Festival and actually sat on the couch next to her during the cocktail hour. I was overwhelmed and, as I remember, said nothing. (Yeah, me, nothing) I just sat there while people came and went, greeting and talking to her, and was determined NOT to give up my seat beside her. I loved and treasured ever minute of that just as you will when you meet Dorie. I am pretty positive that Dorie has read your Post so get ready. We do appreciate, Trevor, your designing our pins. You are clever, artistic and creative and I cannot wait to see them. And, although you probably aren’t trembling with excitement over meeting me, you still will. I’m excited to meet you, very excited, indeed.

  26. Oh, your Tzatziki looks delicious. It’s a treat, right. I copied your Fritter recipe. Good combo.

  27. I love reading your blog. It brightens up my day. I am trying your Zucchini Fritters with Tzatziki next week.

  28. Just imagine how impressed Dorie would be if you referred to these zucchini fritters by their Greek name: kolokithokeftethes. Especially if you say the word quickly and seemingly without effort.

  29. Great post! I met Dorie at a book signing and I’m not even sure I was able to form a coherent sentence. So embarrassing!

  30. Yes – tzatziki on fritters is meant to be.

    Frankly, I am looking at IFBC with a sense of excitement and trepidation. It feels a bit like the first day at a new school. What if they don’t like me? What if I wear the wrong thing? What if I have a bad hair/ make-up/ skin day? What if I am so nervous that I don’t say “boo” to anyone and they think I”m stuck up or even worse, what if I am so nervous that I am totally annoying? Yes, this is starting to stress me out. Add to that the possibility of meeting Dorie and you can multiply that trepidation times three…

  31. Your scenario might be a bit far fetched but not in thinking that Dorie is sweet and gracious; she is both. I have not met her; only conversed thru Twitter but it’s clear she is so not a diva and warms to those that enjoy the aspects of preparing and eating and being with others…around her French table and otherwise.

    I hope it is everything you wish for…I just wish I was there to see her too!

  32. Wonderful! Zucchini is really the eighth wonder of the world!

  33. Yummy, and now I have something to do with all those zucchinis!