A friend's birthday drinks and nibbles and we are eating on his roof terrace on a balmy summer night. These fritters were perfect; a little bit of the eastern Mediterranean came to east London.
A great way to make use of a courgette glut, these fritters make a fabulous mezze dish, but are perfect for a light lunch too. The onions, feta cheese and herbs also manage to jazz up what can be a quite bland vegetable but meets it's saviours with a little help!
Skill level: Easy
500g courgettes, coarsely grated
1 x onion, finely chopped
3 x garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 x eggs
200g feta, crumbled
a handful of fresh herbs, roughly chopped - I use a mixture of mint, dill and flat-leaf parsley (less mint more parsley!)
¼ tsp cayenne pepper or smoked paprika
salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Place the grated courgettes in a large colander or sieve over a bowl and sprinkle over about 2 teaspoons of salt. Leave to drain for about 30 minutes. Then rinse and leave to drain again. Squeeze out the water. Place in a clean tea-towel and squeeze again to remove any excess water. Set aside.
- Gently fry the chopped onion until softened (about 10 minutes). Do not allow to brown.
- Add the garlic and stir. Continue to cook for 2 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- Lightly beat the eggs.
- Mix the courgettes, cooled onion and garlic mixture together with the chopped herbs and crumbled feta cheese. Add the spices including a grinding of black pepper. You probably won't need to add any salt at this stage but check the seasoning just in case.
- Combine with the beaten egg.
- At this point, if the mixture seems too runny to form the fritters, add about 1 tablespoon of dried breadcrumbs and stir. Leave for about 10 minutes to allow the breadcrumbs to absorb the moisture and help bind the mix together.
- Form into fritter or patty shapes. I tend to form balls about the size of a tablespoon and then slightly flatten them for easy of frying.
- Refrigerate for 30 minutes before cooking in batches.
- Heat about 1 tbsp olive oil in a frying-pan on a medium heat. When hot, add the fritters. They will spread out a bit. They will begin to set and turn a golden-brown colour after about 2 minutes. Flip them over and cook the other side.
- These are delicious on their own or served with a tangy tomato dipping sauce.
- You can the coat the fritters in extra breadcrumbs for a crunchier texture.
- Use different cheeses. I have made these with Stilton (divine) and mozzarella (amazing).