By 300 Sandwiches
Anyway, mom and I went shopping yesterday afternoon. We usually spend our best quality time wandering the aisles of Target, my second favorite place next to Fairway Red Hook. After getting home later than expected, the thought of prepping dinner made mom weary. “I was going to defrost burgers,” she said, but then looked on the counter. “Oh, don’t forget to remind me to freeze all of that leftover zucchini.”
“Or, we can make fried zucchini sandwiches,” I said.
I had picked up pretzel buns at the store, thinking we’d use them for hamburgers. But they were the perfect size for the zucchini sandwich, and just the perfect firmness once buttered and warmed. Sliced fresh tomato would add a sweet contrast to the fried veggies, and light, fluffy ricotta cheese added just a bit of protein.
Mom put Stevie Ray Vaughan on Pandora and I mixed up the flour and spices. We took turns dipping the zucchini into the batter, talking about music and food and E (yes, honey, we did. All good things!). My mother doesn’t ever ask when we’re getting married. She just wants to know if E and I get along and if we’re having fun. “That’s all that matters. Have fun, laugh and enjoy each other. If you don’t, then it will never work out.”
Dinner was ready in 30 minutes. E would have hated this sandwich. Two forbidden foods in one meal? He would have ordered takeout. But I loved it, and so did mom. It was light, warm, gooey and tasty. Mom added some hot sauce on hers for an extra zing. I would so make these again—but E would have to be away when I did it.
2 medium sized zucchini, sliced
1 cup flour
3/4 teaspoon celery salt
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1 egg white
1 tomato, sliced
1/4 cup ricotta cheese
4 pretzel buns
1 pat butter
hot sauce (optional)
In a medium sized skillet, pour enough vegetable oil until oil is an inch deep. Mix flour, celery salt, garlic salt, paprika, and celery seed in a small shallow bowl. In another bowl, beat the egg and egg white. Dip zucchini slices into the egg wash, then into the flour mixture, then fry in hot oil. Cook about 4 minutes each side until brown, flipping once. Remove from oil and cool on paper towel lined plate, so excess oil can drain off.
Melt a pat or two of butter in another skillet and toast buns. Spread thin layer of ricotta cheese on both sides of bun. On bottom bun, layer on zucchini slices, then slice of tomato, then another slice of zucchini. Sprinkle on hot sauce if you like. Then, top with top of bun. Makes 4 sandwiches.