Zucchini Tots

After a four-month lull, my freelance work is picking up again. I am excited to bring in a little money, though, like all parents, I am working out how to find time to fit it all in. Even working part-time, it is still a juggling act.

My blog entries probably will reflect the need to make quick dinners, at least during the week. I always find time to cook, though, and my weekends always include time for playing in the kitchen, so there won’t be any lack of fun kitchen projects. Homemade ice cream cones, anyone? I’m still working on that one, but I hope to be able to post it sometime this summer.

Zucchini Tots fall into the easy weeknight recipe category. Think tater tots, but better, and not fried. They take a few minutes of prep work – mostly grating the zucchini – but they bake for only 15 minutes, and they are fabulous. Zucchini, cheese, bread crumbs and garlic – what’s not to like? Pair them with anything from baked chicken to hamburgers. They are a great way to use up the summer zucchini bounty.

I got the recipe from The Baking Circle, which is King Arthur Flour’s online community forum. Check it out sometime if you have any interest in baking at all. It is a great place for ordinary baking folks to share recipes and tips and hints about baking everything from cookies to croissants. The woman who posted this recipe gave me permission to share it, and she has had it so long that she doesn’t remember where she got it. Thanks for sharing, mrscindy!

I doubled the recipe when I made them and the three of us ate all but the last four. They are that good.

Zucchini Tots
Adapted by The Cook’s Life
From mrscindy via King Arthur Flour’s Baking Circle
Yield 12 mini tots, easy to double

The original recipe called for cheddar cheese, but I thought Parmesan was a better fit. Feel free to substitute any cheese you like in these.

1 cup zucchini, grated (about 1 small zucchini)
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
¼ cup regular or panko
Additional Parmesan cheese for serving

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a mini muffin tin.

Grate the zucchini onto a clean dish towel.

Wring as much of the liquid as possible out of the zucchini. In a medium bowl, combine the zucchini with the egg, garlic, cheese and bread crumbs. Add salt and pepper to taste – I added just a pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper. It will seem like there isn’t enough liquid, but keep mixing and everything will come together.

Fill each muffin cup to the top.

Pack the mixture into the muffin cups as tightly as possible to help them stay in one piece after they are baked. Bake for 15-18 minutes in the preheated oven, until the edges of the tops are golden brown.

Gently run a knife around the edges of each tot and ease them out of the cups. A few will fall apart, but most will stay together. Serve hot, with additional cheese, if desired. These are best right out of the oven – they lose their crispness upon storage.

Download the recipe here.