Although frying squash, or any vegetable, adds calories, fat and saturated fat, it does impart a rich flavor and crispy texture. Summer squash, which is commonly fried, has more moisture than winter varieties, but many of the same nutrients, including beta carotene, potassium and vitamin C. Summer squash is typically green or yellow. Any of these varieties, which includes zucchini, may be fried.
One of the keys to deep-fried squash is to start with a flavorful batter to coat the vegetable. The batter imparts flavor and keeps the squash moist. Whisk together three eggs and1/2 cup of buttermilk in a large bowl until smooth. Cut four squash into 1/4-inch slices. For even cooking, cut the squash into uniform slices. The best way to do this is to slice them with a mandolin if you have one. Place the slices in the bowl and allow the batter to completely cover them. Let them soak for 30 minutes.
To achieve a crisp, outer crust, try this combination. In a large bowl, combine 1 cup of all-purpose flour and 1 cup of cornmeal. Add a 1/2 tsp. of baking powder as well as salt, pepper and other seasonings to taste. Remove the squash from the buttermilk bath, discarding the leftover buttermilk. The moisture will help the breading stick to the squash as it fries.
Pour vegetable oil into a deep pot or a dutch oven until it is 2 inches deep. Heat oil to 365 degrees Fahrenheit. Never leave hot oil unattended. When the oil is hot enough, which is key, dredge the squash in the flour mixture until it covers the squash evenly. Drop in the pot and fry for 5 or 6 minutes, until it is golden brown. Fry in small batches so you don't lower the heat of the oil.
Part of what makes this dish so appealing is the fresh squash, which is abundant during the summer. To pick the perfect squash, choose one that is small and tender. After pollination, squash grows quickly. Ones that are between 6 inches and 8 inches long and 2 inches or less in diameter will have more flavor than larger ones. For a more delectable dish, also dredge and fry the blossoms found on the female squash before the fruit develops.
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