The simplest fritters in the world to make and frankly, they are so moreish they need to come with a health warning!
So here it is: eating fried food everyday is a very bad idea, but once in a blue moon …. and when it tastes as good as these fritters do …that’s got to be OK with me. 🙂
I have an abundance of home-grown courgettes at the moment, but they’re readily available in the shops too! Every year I promise myself that I will plant less courgette plants, and every year I fail to do so. This year, I have six, and they seem to manifest courgettes overnight. So I can categorically state that this is not my last courgette recipe post. It can get bit frantic in the kitchen, but I know I will mourn them once they’re gone. Particularly as they don’t freeze well.
So. Back to the fritters. I’m not a nutritionist, but I suggest taking a leaf out of the Japanese book, which is to eat fried foods (tempura for example) with fresh crisp radish, daikon or mooli. These vegetables will help cut through the fat and leave your digestive system feeling less overloaded.
I’ve made these fritters, (which are adapted from a traditional Greek recipe), gluten-free, simply by replacing wheat flour with chickpea flour.
GREEK COURGETTE FRITTERS
- 500gms. Courgettes: washed, trimmed and sliced into rings 2-3 ml. thick.
- 1 tbs. salt ( I use Pink Himalayan Salt)
- 120gms. Chickpea Flour
- Optional: 2 tsps. dried mixed Mediterranean Herbs. e.g. Oregano, Thyme, Basil, Parsley.
- Several tbs. hot oil ( I used organic rapeseed oil)
- Lay the sliced courgette rings out on a board, and sprinkle evenly with the salt.
- Leave for 30 mins.
- Cook’s note: This process will extract a lot of moisture from the courgettes, which will help when it comes to frying.
- Rinse the courgettes very thoroughly to remove all the salt.
- Then pat them dry using kitchen paper. It’s easiest if you do each slice individually, squeezing them gently in the kitchen paper to remove all excess moisture.
- In a bowl, place the chickpea flour, add the dried herbs if using.
- Add the nicely dried courgette slices, a few at a time. Turn them gently to make sure that they are covered in flour.
- When all the courgette rings are in the bowl, place it in the fridge for 30-45 mins. (Time your meal so you’re ready to fry after 30-45 mins. as the courgettes won’t improve after that).
Meanwhile prepare the Tapenade:
- 250 gms. pitted black olives (that have been preserved in brine not oil).
- 12 capers
- 1/2 small red onion
- 2 large garlic cloves
- 1 tbs. dried thyme ( or a small handful of fresh roughly chopped thyme)
- Juice 1/2 lemon
- 1-2 tsps. olive oil ( just to get the blender going)
Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend on pulse until coarsely blended.
- Prepare the salad. I also made a quick Tzatziki (grated cucumber in soy yogurt with seasoning).
Fry the courgettes.
Cook’s note: the remaining moisture in the courgettes will combine with the flour to make a coating ready to fry.
- Place an oven-proof ceramic dish in a pre-heated oven Gas. Mk. 3-4, 160 / 180C (just to keep fritters warm).
- After 30-45 mins. remove the courgettes from the fridge (don’t leave them in longer than that as they will start to go soggy).
- In a wide pan, add enough oil to create a layer roughly 2 ml. deep.
- Place the pan on a fairly high heat. (Adjust heat as you do the batches).
- Cook’s notes: The secret of frying is to get the oil sizzling hot, but not smoking. This will create an instant seal when you add the courgettes, and prevent them soaking up excessive oil.
- Test the oil with a pinch of flour. The flour will sizzle instantly when the oil is ready.
- Add the rings in batches. Don’t overcrowd the pan.
- Fry for 1 1/2 – 2 mins. on each side.
- Transfer to a plate lined with kitchen paper to remove excess oil, and then from there to a warmed dish in the oven until all courgettes are done.
Naughty? Possibly. Nice? Definitely.
Once in a Blue Moon