I like a good fritter; if it’s fried, there’s a good chance that I will like it. However, at home, I’d much rather shallow fry then deep fry, now that I’m especially conscious that food blogging is not generally conducive to a slim figure. And if the fried stuff can increase my veggie intake too, then all the better.
I bought a couple of giant courgettes at the local market one weekend and was looking to use them as a main ingredient for a light supper for the two of us. Fritters it was going to be, especially after I found this recipe by Yotam Ottolenghi, one that is used at his latest restaurant Nopi. His were spiced but I decided to leave mine more plain. The two courgettes served the two of us for two meals, giving me a chance to perfect their frying – a medium high frying temperature results in fritters with crisp outsides.
These make a nice brunch or light supper for two when paired with bacon and some salad, or as part of a larger meal for four. Feel free to switch the cheese around – the original recipe used manouri but I imagine that a nice feta would work too – or even leave the cheese out. I served them with a Greek yogurt with salt and piment d’Espelette but they’re also good with a chilli sauce.
Courgette and Cheese Fritters
adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi’s recipe.
1 large courgette (or two small-medium ones)
1 shallot, finely diced
1 clove garlic, crushed
3 heaped tbsps plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
about 40-50g Grana Padano, roughly chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tbsps olive oil
Grate the courgette into a large bowl, sprinkle with salt, toss to mix and then leave for about 10 minutes.
After the time has elapsed, grab handfuls of the grated courgette and squeeze over a sink to remove as much water as possible. To the now significantly drier grated courgette, add the diced shallot, crushed garlic, flour, baking powder and egg and stir well to combine. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and add the cheese and stir again to mix through.
Heat a frying pan over medium heat, pour in the olive oil and heat until the oil is slightly shimmering. Place heaped tablespoons of the courgette mixture into the hot pan, flattening them to about 1 cm thickness with the back of the spoon. You should be able to get 3-4 fritters in your pan (assuming it’s a 10 inch frying pan) comfortably. Flip when the bottoms are golden brown and continue frying on the other side. Drain on kitchen paper when fully cooked. Continue frying the rest of the mixture – you shouldn’t need to add any more oil.
This should make about 8 fritters in total.