Zucchini was not part of my culinary experience while growing up in Budapest, Hungary. It took me years to appreciate this vegetable and even longer to use it. This was the first year my darling planted zucchini in our garden and we have been enjoying it in various ways and keeping our friends and neighbours well supplied. Our next-door neighbour, Pat took in 6 orphaned specimens. It is amazing how fast a little zucchini grows into a formidable club and even with all the help we are getting with “using up” and “not wasting” these vegetable wonders, we can’t seem to keep up with their pace of growth. “Earth to earth” as Jim treats the garden when overabundance strikes. Back to the earth they go when overripe.

Fasírt is the Hungarian equivalent of the hamburger, but incomparably more tasty and palatable than hamburger.  You can take a fasírt to a picnic cold. It does not necessitate the smearing of several types of condiments, onions, tomatoes, cheese and bacon in order make the fasírt palatable. You just pop it into your mouth and the fasírt is good as is. No doubt, a similar recipe has made it into the realms of vegetarian cooking already, though not exactly the Hungarian way.  I replaced the lean ground pork with diced zucchini, [diced and not grated!], and because the flavours are delicate, I replaced the paprika with a roasted spice. Fusion! This is the zucchini fasírt.  

Zucchini Patties

3 cups finely diced zucchini
2 sprinkles of salt
1/2 red pepper, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 egg
fine breadcrumbs
salt to taste
1 sprinkle of roasted garlic and red pepper spice or Greek Seasoning
1/8 cup oil for frying

  • Wash the zucchini.
  • If zucchini is large and a bit overripe, scoop out the pulp and the seeds from the middle and discard.
  • Do not grate the zucchini. Limp zucchini strands will make the patties slimy. First slice the zucchini very thin and with a chef’s knife chop it into tiny cubes. [I didn’t use the food processor. By the time I would have set it up, I already chopped up the zucchini.]
  • Place the diced zucchini in a bowl, salt it and give it a stir.
  • Let the zucchini rest for 10 minutes and then squeeze out all the juices.
  • Discard the juices and place the zucchini back in the bowl.
  • Add the diced red pepper, the minced garlic and the egg and mix to combine.
  • Gradually work into the mixture fine breadcrumbs to form patties. The reason I did not include the amount of breadcrumbs. The amount needed will depend on several other factors. Just keep in mind the texture should remain soft but not wet or sticky. Too much breadcrumbs on the other hand can make the patties dense and heavy. It is best to go by feel and not by measurement. 
  • Taste the mixture and adjust the salt.
  • Add the choice of seasoning and mix well.
  • Form patties and roll the patties into fine breadcrumbs.
  • Place a thin layer of oil in a non-stick skillet.
  • On medium heat, slowly fry the patties until both sides are golden brown. 
  • These patties are equally nice served with Garlic Mashed Potatoes or with Fried Potatoes and a salad. 

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It began with posting a few recipes on line for my family. "zsuzsa is in the kitchen" has more than 1000 Hungarian and International recipes. What started out as a private project turned into a well visited blog. The number of visitors long passed the two million mark. I organized my recipes into an on-line cookbook. On top of the page click on the cookbook to access the recipes. I am not profiting from my blog, so my visitors will not be harassed with advertising or flashy gadgets. Feel free to cut and paste my recipes for your own use. Publication is permitted as long as it is in your own words and with your own photographs. However, I would ask you for an acknowledgement and link-back to my blog. Happy cooking!