Squash Fritters and Fried Sage

squash sage(serves 8 as an appetizer)

From Food and Wine, October 2013

Vegetable oil for frying

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 1/2 cups seltzer or club soda, chilled

kosher salt

1 1/2 pounds kabocha squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/8-inch-thick wedges

1/2 cup sage leaves

lemon wedges for garnish

In a saucepan, heat 1 inch of oil to 360 degrees.  In a bowl, whisk the flour and 1 1/4 cups of the seltzer until smooth and the consistency of sour cream; add more seltzer if the batter is too thick.  Season with salt

Working in 3 or 4 batches, dip the squash and some of the sage leaves in the batter; let excess batter drip off.  Carefully add the battered squash and sage, and some uncoated sage leaves, to the hot oil.  Fry over moderately high heat, turning, until lightly golden and crisp, 3 to 5 minutes.  Using tongs, transfer the fried squash and sage to paper towels to drain.  Season with salt and serve immediately with lemon wedges.