The hubbard and butternut foliating sky rises are taking over squash city, but similar to historical society protected real estate, the Tondos are standing their ground. The Tondo Scura di Piacenza is a huge round summer squash growing in coconut like clusters in the center of tubular stems, which extend large leaves protected with fine spiky hairs. Tondos are are an ideal variety for the squash lover with a small growing space.
The tondos have a fleshy orangey interior and a fluffy fiber mass in the center, like a pumpkin. If picked at the right time, you shouldn’t encounter very many seeds, and the outside should be similar to grass green, with speckles and slightly textured lines from stem to stern all around.
The following recipe can be used with any summer squash, or a combination of varieties. Or, you can try growing your own tondos!
- 1 tsp coriander seeds
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 2 tbsp gluten free flour (or regular flour)
- 1 egg beaten
- 2 green onions diced- green part only
- 1-2 large serrano chili peppers minced
- olive oil for frying
- 1 lb summer squash
Clean out, peel, and shred the squash. Put the shredded squash in a colander. Toss with a generous amount of salt, then rinse under cold running water.
Pour the rinsed squash onto the center of a clean white flour sack towel and wrap it like a hard candy wrapper. Grab both ends and twist, rinsing out as much water as you can. You might want to do this twice, using two separate cloths. You’ll be surprised at how much water comes out! The less water, the better your fritters will fry evenly. Put the drained shredded squash in a large bowl and set aside.
In a small nonstick pan, heat the coriander and cumin seeds until you’ve created a slightly burnt spicy aroma. Remove from the heat and grind the seeds until mostly powder.
Add all of the ingredients to the squash, except for the olive oil. Stir in the ground coriander and cumin, flour, egg, green onions, and serrano(s).
Fill a medium to large sized frying pan with olive oil, about 1/8 to ¼ the way. Heat the pan on medium high until a tiny drop of the squash mixture sizzles. Add 2 to 3 tbsp dollops of the squash mixture into the pan, and slightly flatten them with the back of the spoon. Make sure to space them apart enough so that fritters don’t touch when flattened.
Fry for a few minutes on each side, until golden brown, and transfer to a plate lined with paper towels or a drying rack. Gently pat the excess oil with a paper towel.
Serve right away with a side of Greek yogurt, sour cream, or a vegan option of either.
Everyone, even your vegetable skeptics, will love this dish. After all, everything tastes good fried!