My toddler has become a pretty good eater since we started the Teach Eat Love experiment. She turned from a kid who lived almost entirely off of cheddar bunny crackers to one who will happily take bites of tomatoes, greens, eggplant, beets, and lots of other veggies that kids “aren’t supposed” to like. One vegetable that we regularly struggle with is squash, but I thought since she’s learned to like (or at least try) so many others, I would just kind of ignore those little yellow gems of summer and focus on the positive.
While my husband and I were on vacation this summer, we received regular email updates from my mom, who was watching our daughter. One of the updates casually mentioned that our little girl ate squash patties for dinner. And, what’s more, she liked them so much that she asked for them again.
When we got back, I had my mom show me how to make these yummy sautéed crispy vegetable-filled patties. I tweaked a few things and experimented with adding grated cheddar (big win). Traditionally, croquettes are usually deep-fried patties made from potatoes, meat, fish, and/or veggies. They can be eaten on-the-go since they’re portable. These croquettes aren’t deep fried, but the panko breadcrumbs give them a lovely crispy texture. And the brightly colored shredded veggies always make me think of confetti.
makes about 18 small vegetable patties; can be easily halved. Cooked patties don’t reheat very well.
1 1/2 pounds of your favorite summer squashes (yellow, zucchini, patty pan, etc)
1 large clove of garlic
3″ piece leek (white only)*
1 tsp sea salt
1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1 egg, whisked
1/2 c. finely grated sharp cheddar cheese (optional but delicious)
1/2 c. panko bread crumbs
2 T. fresh herbs (I used a mix of chives, basil, rosemary, thyme) of 2 t. dried
olive oil, for cooking
*I used a leek here because it adds flavor without the bite the onion sometimes have. Feel free to use a bit of finely chopped onion, though, if that’s what you have on hand.
1. In a food processor, shred the squash and carrots into matchsticks.
2. Finely chop the leek and rinse it to remove the grit. Mince the garlic, too.
3. Pour the veggies, leek, garlic, salt, and egg into a bowl. Let it sit for about 5 minutes to “gel.”
4. Warm a generous drizzle of olive oil to cover the bottom of a large skillet in over medium heat.
5. Stir the cheese into the veggies.
6. Add the flour, 1/4 c. at a time to the vegetable mixture. Keep adding until you have a consistency that will hold its shape easily. The amount will likely vary by the moisture content in your particular veggies. Using an 1/8 cup measuring cup (or ice cream scoop), form the croquettes.
6. Pour the panko onto a plate and dredge the croquettes in it to coat.
7. Sauté the croquettes in olive oil for about 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Repeat with remaining croquettes, adding more olive oil as needed.
8. Keep cooked croquettes on paper towels to help wick away additional oil.
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