Before my husband started growing zucchini all around our house in the summer months, I really hadn’t given summer squash much thought. I rarely if ever bought it at the grocery store, and only ate it when it was offered to me because I have a deep and abiding affection for all vegetables. But once I started baking with zucchini, well that was that. I was hooked. And that’s a good thing, because my husband insists upon growing way too much of it. I need to be armed and ready with many, many slam-dunk zucchini recipes—like these gluten free zucchini tots.
They don’t have many ingredients (grated zucchini, eggs, flour, spices, grated onion and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese) or require much preparation. You do have to grate the zucchini (easy peasy), and then squeeze out as much moisture as you can muscle in a tea towel. The good news? You can prepare big batches of grated zucchini ahead of time, squeeze the moisture out and then freeze it in quart-size zip-top bags until you’re ready for it.
Plus, if it’s just too hot to make them in the oven, I bet they’d be great sautéed in a bit of butter in a pan.
They bake up beautifully crisp in the oven, and they’re at their very best when served right away. Since they don’t have much starch, unlike tater tots, they don’t hold on to that crispness for long. A small price to pay for low-carb, gluten free finger food. Once they’ve cooled, they still retain enough moisture that they can be refreshed in a toaster oven before serving without drying out.
If you have reluctant zucchini eaters, try serving these gluten free zucchini tots with some ketchup. Two of my three kids love these even when they’re not crispy, even without any sort of dip (they beg for more, in fact!). The third, my vegetable-hater, only really likes them fresh out of the oven or refreshed in the toaster before serving. Not a bad vegetable batting average!
*I squeeze the liquid out of grated zucchini by placing it, about 1/4 cup at a time, in a tea towel, rolling up the towel and twisting it to squeeze out all of the liquid.
Preheat your oven to 400°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper and set it aside.
In a small bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, salt, garlic powder, dried basil and dried oregano, and whisk to combine well. Set the bowl aside. In a large bowl, place the shredded zucchini, grated onion, eggs, egg white and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, and mix to combine. Add the flour and spices mixture and mix to combine. The mixture should be thick but quite soft. For best results, cover the bowl and place the mixture in the refrigerator to chill for an hour. This will help keep the tots from spreading in the oven, but it is not an essential step.
Place the mixture in tablespoon-size portions on the prepared baking sheet, about 1-inch apart from one another. With wet fingers, pat each tot into an oval shape, about 1-inch tall and 1/2-inch wide. Place the baking sheet in the center of the preheated oven and bake for about 20 minutes, or until lightly golden brown all over. Rotate once during baking. Serve immediately.
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