The challenges of moving aren’t just restricted to ‘where should we put that bookshelf?’ and ‘why does no one have linen cupboards any more?’, but establishing a whole new set of routines and ‘locals’ you frequent. In my case, I have stayed in the same suburb, but moved from one side to another, making my usual Saturday morning trip to the markets to buy veggies just that little bit too far away. After a dire few weeks where I had to (shock, horror) actually go into a *shop* to buy produce, I decided the best thing to do was sign up for one of those vegetable delivery services where market fresh fruit and veg is delivered right to your front door.
Well well well, to say I’m a convert is an understatement. It’s the best! Fresh, seasonal produce, and you don’t have to battle the elements or even get out of your pyjamas. I still love a good market, don’t get me wrong, but this really is convenience personified.
But the best part has to be the way I’ve been forced to be a bit more creative with my ingredients. Instead of buying what I need for the week’s meals, I’m creating the meals around what I’ve been sent that week. I admit I do still tailor the delivery slightly to my tastes, but on the whole I’ve been letting them send me whatever they think is good that week, and I haven’t regretted that for a second.
So this week I had four beautiful summer zucchini to put to use. I decided to turn them into fritters because I’d made Bill Granger’s corn fritters a few weeks earlier and was still feeling a bit fritt-sy. And hey, everyone loves a fritter, right?
Unlike the ubiquitous Sydney corn fritter, zucchini ones need a tad more TLC as the veggies have a very high water content, which translates into a soggy mess when you try to cook with them. To dry them out, I simply put the grated zucchini into a colander and leave them for about 15 minutes, pushing down with a spoon every five minutes or so to drain some of the moisture off, then giving it a big old squeeze at the end. Some people recommend sprinkling with salt to help draw the moisture out, but I’ve never really thought that was necessary. It’s not like tomatoes, where you want to preserve the shape or anything – as the zucchini is already grated, you can be a bit rougher with it and not compromise the finished product.
The ricotta makes the mixture very fluffy and light, but if you can’t eat dairy, just use a second egg instead.
I made these for dinner with a simple side salad, but they would also go beautifully with a couple of poached eggs and maybe some bacon for breakfast. Or just enjoy them while you’re contemplating why people really don’t seem to have linen cupboards any more.
Makes around 10 medium-sized fritters
- 4 medium sized zucchini, coarsely grated
- 2 shallots, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp fresh ricotta
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- Small handful fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped
- 2/3 cup plain flour
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Oil with a high smoke point, for frying
- Put zucchini in a colander to drain for around 15 minutes – see note above.
- Combine zucchini, shallots, ricotta, egg and flour and mix well.
- Stir in mint leaves and season.
- Heat a splash of oil in a non-stick fry pan, then use a dessert spoon to dollop out fritters in desired size. Flatten each one slightly with the spoon.
- Cook each fritter for a few minutes on each side. Each side should be browned, and it will be cooked through when the fritter feels firm when you press down on it with a spatula.