Vegetarian Times (October 2014)
The word "fritter" is a beautiful thing.
Apple fritters. Corn fritters. Zucchini fritters.
Don't all those sound absolutely divine? A bit crunchy? Satisfying and, oh yes, fried?
We've had a little crush on Spaghetti Squash this fall. Ever since the first one of the year showed up in our CSA haul, we've been tinkering with recipes (if you have a favorite spaghetti squash recipe, we're all ears!) and so this one leapt off the pages of Vegetarian Times.
Spinach and Spaghetti Squash Fritters? You had us at spaghetti squash. You sealed the deal with fritters.
So here's the deal with these fritters: they are baked, not fried (please stop booing, you're hurting the fritters' feelings). And not to ruin the ending here, but that baked method doesn't work very well. Though in their defense, they taste great.
Here's the deal.
We've now made these bad boys a few times and have yet to come out with a product we love.
The first time, we mixed the fritters as is (spinach, spaghetti squash, red pepper, flour, egg, etc.), placed them on the baking sheet, and let them do their thing in the oven. When we went to flip them, they had stuck a bit to the pan (we used cooking spray, as directed, and though we really wanted to use parchment to save ourselves a mess, we didn't, thinking it would help the fritters crisp up more). But mid-bake (at the point of flipping), the fritters didn't look crispy, just gooey. So we let the fritters finish baking and then we let them bake a little more but they never really "set."
Still, we served them to guests. They were definitely not finger food and were falling apart a bit, but we loved the flavors. The squash is sweet, the spinach lets you pretend you're eating something healthy, and the red pepper is surprisingly nice, actually adding a lot of flavor and a bit of light crunch. We served them to guests and everyone ate all of them. (Nevermind that dinner was very late coming to the table. Details, details.)
The next time, we did largely the same method, but we decided to give it a broil at the end to help them crisp up. That helped a little bit, but didn't really solve the problem of soggy fritters (and it created the dark edges you see on the photo above).
We have yet to go back for a third try (and we're both out of spaghetti squash and full of fritters), but when we do (!) we're going to ditch the oven and fry these fritters in a skillet with a bit of oil.
Because we love a fritter. And we want a fritter. But we need a fried fritter.
Have more ideas for crisping these up? Share away!
1 spaghetti squash (1½–2 lb.)
2 cups packed baby spinach
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. ground chipotle chile powder
1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. Pierce squash in several places with knife. Microwave 3 minutes on high power to soften. Slice off ends, and stand squash upright. Cut straight down length of squash. Remove seeds with spoon. Place halves cut side down on rimmed baking sheet, and add 11/2 cups water to cover surface. Bake 30 minutes, or until squash yields when pressed.
3. Cool squash cut side up 10 minutes. Scrape halves with fork to release strands. Measure out 21/2 cups strands.
4. Meanwhile, spread spinach on baking sheet. Bake 2 minutes, or until just wilted. Cool. Squeeze dry, and chop.
5. Stir together spaghetti squash, bell pepper, egg, breadcrumbs, flour, chipotle powder, and spinach in bowl. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.
6. Coat baking sheet with cooking spray, and increase oven temperature to 425°F.
7. Divide squash mixture into 16 2-inch disks; place on baking sheet. Bake 18 to 20 minutes, turning once.