Courgette and feta fritters

2011-03-30_19

Other than his very popular New Vegetarian column at the Guardian, Yotam Ottolenghi also writes for Here Is The City News. And, he doesn’t hesitate to use recipes the editor of the Guardian didn’t see fit to publish. This one had to be dropped from a section on quick and healthy breakfasts. Having tried it, I can certainly understand why. It took me a couple of hours and a dishwasher load to have it ready. It might be delicious, but it is not exactly what you need to to start the day… Unless you go to Nopi’s and order it from the menu.

Courgette and feta fritters

Ingredients 
Sauce:

  • 200g soured cream (I replaced it by lactose free yogurt)
  • 2 tbsp roughly chopped coriander
  • ½ tsp ground cardamom
  • 70ml sunflower oil
  • Zest and juice of 1 lime
  • Salt and black pepper
Fritters
  • 3 medium courgettes
  • 2 small shallots, finely chopped (but very very finely, otherwise you will feel you are chewing onions)
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • Grated zest of 2 limes
  • About 60g self-raising flour
  • 2 large free-range eggs
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • 150g manouri cheese (or feta)
Method

In a small bowl, mix the cream, chopped coriander, half a teaspoon of ground cardamom, two teaspoons of oil and the lime zest and juice. Season to taste, cover and chill.

Chop off the ends of the courgettes, then grate the flesh into a bowl. Sprinkle with half a teaspoon of salt and leave for 10 minutes so they release their juices. Squeeze the courgettes to remove most of the liquid, then add the shallots, garlic, lime zest, flour, eggs, ground coriander, the remaining cardamom and a pinch of pepper. Mix to form a thick batter (add some flour if it’s a bit runny), then fold in the manouri.

Heat 2-3mm of oil in a large frying pan and add heaped dessertspoons of the batter (in batches, if need be), flatten a little and cook on each side for around three minutes. Remove and drain on kitchen paper. (larger portions than a tablespoon will give very messy fritters. Do not forget to flat).

Serve three fritters per portion with a generous dollop of the sauce.


Leek fritters.

2011-03-10_20

A Yotam Ottolenghi‘s family dish, with its usual kilometric list of ingredients and a recommendation: do not skip any of them. If anything, spare yourself the bother of doing the sauce. Recipe was found on Plenty, his latest cookbook.

Ingredients 

For the sauce

  • 100g Greek yogurt
  • 100g sour cream
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt to taste
  • 20g finely chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 30g finely chopped coriander leaves

For the fritters

  • 3 leeks (450g trimmed weight)
  • 2 banana shallots, peeled and finely chopped (I used regular red onions)
  • 140ml olive oil
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and sliced
  • 25g parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoons coriander seeds, crushed
  • 1 teaspoons  ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoons ground turmeric
  • ½ teaspoons  ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoons sugar
  • salt to taste
  • 1 egg white
  • 120g self-raising flour (or regular all purpose flour with 2 teaspoons of a raising agent, like Royal).
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 150ml milk
  • 55g unsalted butter, melted

Method

Start by making the sauce. Put all the sauce ingredients into the bowl of a food processor, blitz together until a uniform green, then set to one side.

Cut the leeks into 2cm thick rounds, rinse and dry. Over medium heat, sauté the leeks and shallots in a pan with five tablespoons of oil until soft – about 15 minutes – then transfer to a bowl and add the chilli, parsley, spices, sugar and salt. Leave to cool.

Whisk the egg white to soft peaks and fold it into the vegetables. In another bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, egg, milk and butter to form a batter. Gently mix this into the egg white and vegetable mixture.

Put two tablespoons of oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Spoon the mixture into the pan to make four large fritters, and fry for two to three minutes a side, until golden and crisp. Transfer to kitchen towel and repeat, adding oil as needed, until the mixture is used up. Serve warm with the sauce on the side or drizzled over.