Zucchini has never been a vegetable of choice for me. I find them a little on the dull side when it comes to flavour and they have the tendency to become soft and mooshy relatively quickly. My lack of excitement for the humble zucchini sees it relegated to the role of a filler vegetable. I happily throw it in a vegetable curry or roast it as part of the roast vegetable pasta I make. But zucchini as a star? Never happens. That was until I discovered zucchini fritters. Then everything changed.
I have always made corn fritters, which became so much better when I discovered the secret to a good fritter mixture was separating the eggs and adding the beaten egg white in the final stage. One simple, extra step and they went from being relatively heavy to lovely and light. This is the method used here too. These are very light and fluffy, and with the addition of feta and ricotta they are also full of flavour.
I found this recipe in The Baker IDI Healthy Cholesterol and Diet Lifestyle Plan (Penguin Books 2015). The original recipe specifies reduced-fat ricotta and low-fat feta, but I’ve gone for the regular version of both. I have developed quite a liking for cookbooks that cater to particular dietary concerns as they tend to get me thinking along a lighter, healthier mindset, which can only be a good thing.
Having hesitantly tried these zucchini fritters about a month ago, they have been requested three times in the last three weeks. Now that’s an indication of something worth giving a go. I hope you enjoy them too.
- 3 medium zucchinis (courgettes), coarsely grated
- 180 g fresh ricotta
- 125 ml buttermilk
- 2 large eggs, separated
- 110g self-raising flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 100g danish feta, crumbled
- 3 spring onions, thinly sliced
- small handful of mint, chopped
- olive oil for cooking
- Grate the zucchini and squeeze out as much liquid as you can.
- In a large bowl whisk together the ricotta, buttermilk and egg yolks until well combined.
- Sift the flour and baking powder over the ricotta mixture, then whisk until just combined. Stir in the zucchini, feta, spring onions and mint.
- In another bowl, beat the egg whites and a pinch of salt until stiff peaks form. Using a large metal spoon, gently fold the egg white into the batter.
- Add a little olive oil to a large non-stick frying pan and heat over a low-medium heat. Place spoonfuls of fritter mixture into frying pan. (I find smaller fritters are easier to turn over.) Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side or until puffed, well browned and just cooked through.
- Transfer to a baking tray, cover with foil, and keep warm in the oven until ready to serve.