If you saw Crujientes de Calabacín (Crispy Zucchini) on a menu, what would you imagine being served? I thought I’d get some sort of fritter. What I got was even better.
Turns out I was served a plateful of fried zucchini ravioli. They were crispy on the outside with tender zucchini and gooey cheese on the inside. I’d seen paleo zucchini raviolis on Pinterest, of course. Whoever thought to bread and fry them was a genius.
Once you get the hang of it, making the ravioli is fairly straightforward. You’ll want to cut the zucchini lengthwise into strips thin enough to bend without breaking. I tried a standard vegetable peeler but got the best results with a mandoline. A good sized zucchini yielded enough slices for about 10 raviolis, depending on the size of the core. The pieces start to tear when you get into the area where the seeds are.
I tried baking, pan frying and deep frying the raviolis. Baking didn’t work well at all. By the time the breading browned the cheese filling had oozed out. Deep frying is probably the quickest and best method, but I tend to avoid it because of the amount of oil involved. Since the batches are relatively small, I was pleased with the results from pan frying. You just need to be careful with the breading when you turn them.
To assemble the ravioli, arrange two strips in a cross with the best piece on the bottom. Place a generous amount of filling in the center, then wrap one side of the bottom strip over the filling. Use a paring knife to trim any excess zucchini. Repeat with the other side, then wrap the top piece of ravioli to make sort of a box to contain the filling. Make sure to trim where necessary to avoid gaps around the filling. Use a toothpick to secure the sides.
Once the zucchini ravioli are assembled it’s time to bread them. I found it best to double dip them. First dip in egg, then seasoned bread crumbs. Then dip in the egg again and this time use your hands to gently pack the bread crumbs around the raviolis. When all the raviolis are breaded, fry in hot oil for three minutes or so on each side. Turn them carefully and try to be patient while they cook so you don’t have to turn them too many times (something I’m of which I’m guilty).
- Medium zucchini, thinly sliced, two slices per ravioli
- Cream cheese, estimate 1 teaspoon per ravioli
- Shredded white cheese, about 1 teaspoon per ravioli (I used a pizza blend)
- salt, pepper, chopped herbs to season the filling to taste
- 2 eggs beaten with a few teaspoons of water
- 2 cups seasoned bread crumbs
- oil for frying
- chopped parsley for garnish
- tomato sauce for serving
- Mix sufficient cream cheese with shredded cheese and seasoning for the filling. (For 10 ravioli you would use about a ⅓ cup of each...don't worry too much about it, you can always make a little more).
- Assemble the ravioli and secure with a toothpick.
- Dip each one in egg, then bread crumbs.
- Repeat the egg dip and use your hands to gently pack the bread crumbs around the ravioli.
- Make more egg wash and add more breadcrumbs as needed.
- Measure enough oil to come about halfway up the sides of the ravioli in a frying pan and heat until shimmering.
- Carefully add three or four raviolis and fry until golden brown on both sides (three or four minutes per side).
- Drain the raviolis on some paper towels.
- Serve while hot with some sauce on the side as desired.
Thanks to the Restaurante Las Termas in León for a delicious meal and the inspiration to try to make your wonderful crujientes de calabacín at home.