This fritter recipe is an idea my foodie friend Ruth sent my way some time ago with the littlies in mind. The Girl gave them a bit of a nudge first time I made them but turned her fussy little nose up at them after a bite or two. Where my little darling (said through gritted teeth) is concerned I only have success getting courgette into her if I craftily hide it within the dish itself. Ruth’s kids loved them though, served with natural yoghurt, so they’re well worth a try for the little ones in your life. Plus you get to gobble up any rejects, which won’t be an issue where this recipe is concerned. It’s fast become one of my favourite midweek meals…convenient, quick and easy to make, delicious and nutritious. Tick, tick and tick!
I’ve had very little success with courgette fritters over the years. I always find they end up being soggy and seemingly uncooked. I’d all but given up on them, truth be told, having had one too many failed attempts for me to keep pursuing their nutritious, delicious promise.
Rather satisfyingly however, it seems I’ve discovered the secret to achieving, light, fluffy courgette fritters each and every time you make them. The simple remedy involves squeezing the grated courgette with your hands as tightly as you can muster until you’ve extracted as much excess liquid as possible. In doing this you remove a sufficient volume of liquid to avoid the sogginess yet still retain the lovely moist texture they are well known for. Genius!
This is a very summery dish to me, perfect for a sunny late lunch with a glass of chilled pinot gris. The courgette is complimented with lemon zest, feta and fresh mint and panfried until lightly golden in rice bran oil giving them a beautifully delicate crunch with a soft, comforting centre.
Now that we are well into summer my tomato plants are so laden with fruit that they are dragging their bedraggled branches on the ground, awaiting my attention. To help alleviate the daily ripening I came up with this delicious tomato and red pepper salsa which as luck will have it, is a perfect accompaniment to the fritters. It keeps well for 3-4 days in the fridge, though I guarantee it won’t last that long.
NOTE: if your kids don’t like feta you could replace it with cheddar or parmesan. Feel free to omit the mint also if you think that’ll be a problem for your beloved fusspots.
COURGETTE FRITTERS WITH LEMON, FETA & MINT
INGREDIENTS (serves 2-3)
1 medium-large courgette – grated
3 tbsp plain flour (gluten-free also works)
1/2 tsp baking powder
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
Small handful mint leaves – roughly chopped
1 egg – lightly whisked
2 tbsp milk
50g greek-style feta – crumbled
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Rice bran oil for frying
1. Squeeze the grated courgette between your hands as tightly as possible, removing as much excess liquid as you can, then put into a mixing bowl along with the lemon zest.
2. Add the flour and toss lightly with a fork to evenly coat the courgette.
3. Add the baking powder, zest, mint, egg, milk and feta to the courgettes and season lightly with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
4. Stir well to combine all ingredients into a wet, slightly sloppy mix. The idea is for the fritters to be thin and crispy, rather than fat and chunky so the wetness is not an issue provided you have squeezed excess liquid from the courgette.
5. Heat 3 tbsp of the rice bran oil over a medium heat and drop large tablespoons of the mix into the pan in batches (be careful to give them enough space, the wet mix will spread a bit).
6. Fry for 3-4 minutes on each side until a lovely golden colour then remove onto kitchen paper while you fry the remaining batter (add more oil if necessary).
7. Serve immediately topped with generous spoonfuls of the following salsa and a delicate drizzle of olive oil to finish with a show-offy flourish.
TOMATO & RED PEPPER SALSA
INGREDIENTS (makes enough for four portions)
1 red bell pepper – hulled and seeds removed
8 cherry tomatoes – hulled and seeds removed
1/2 avocado – chopped into 1cm chunks
2 spring onions, halved lengthwise and finely sliced, white part only
Small bunch fresh coriander – leaves only, roughly chopped
Juice 1/2 lemon
3 tbsp good quality olive oil (I use The Village Press)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Remove the stalk and seeds from the bell pepper and chop the flesh into small chunks. Hull the tomatoes, remove the seeds and chop as for the pepper. Set aside in a bowl.
2. Add the chopped avocado, finely sliced spring onions, chopped coriander, lemon juice and olive oil and season well with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
3. Leave the salsa to rest at room temperature for 10 minutes to allow the flavours to develop.
4. Serve in large spoonfuls on top of the fritters and reserve any remaining salsa in an airtight container in the fridge. The salsa will keep well for up to four days. This salsa is also seriously delicious with barbecued sausages and homemade chunky fries.