I have a glut of courgettes to use up..
It happens every year.
I get nervous about our plants germinating/ lose one or two to slugs or frost, then panic plant and end up planting too many. Which then all invariably grow into monsters. Which means we end up with a glut. Just as well I love them..
I’ve made various variations of vegetarian fritters with our courgette glut ever since I started growing them, but since going vegan had yet to find an adequate substitute to the feta cheese variety I was used to. Recently, I half remembered a recipe that I had read back in spring, and made pretty much the recipe you see below, but with just the white beans and no flour or flax seed to bind. It tasted delicious, but essentially was fried mush, not pretty, and not easy to flip or eat neatly.
So I did the sensible thing & went and actually searched out my half remembered recipe, which turned out to be from one of my favourite cooking writers, Anna Jones, in her column for The Guardian. As it happens, her recipe had flour in it. Whoops. Also, I had mis-remembered and it had peas, not courgettes, which tend to hold a fritter a bit better due to their slightly starchier nature.
But I had courgettes on hand, not peas. And a recipe that had nearly worked, despite being a bit sloppy. So, undeterred, I tried again. This time I didn’t just grate the courgettes, I then lightly salted them to help them release some of their juices and squeezed out all the excess moisture with a clean tea-towel. I also used a bit of ground flax seed mixed with some water to help bind the mixture alongside the 2 tablespoons of plain flour.
And it worked.
Actually, the recipe more than worked, it was deeeeelicious. In fact, I think it might even be better than my original.
It’s quite a forgiving recipe, so use your courgette/ zuchinni glut. Or try it with grated carrots or peas or chopped spinach, or corn kernels.. or indeed any other veggie you might think would work in a fritter. The white beans give them a lovely added vegan protein hit which keeps you feeling full, as well as tasting creamily delicious, and feel free to switch up the herbs you use. Parsley, dill, basil, even coriander would work.
Serve with a salad, as part of a mezze/tapas spread or even as a side dish to a curry, to which they are seriously yum addition to, something I found out at the trial stage, trying to use up some of the testing left-overs.
- 1 Tin White Beans (Cannellini or Butterbean work best), drained and rinsed.
- 1 large courgette, grated (or 2 small ones. It should be around 1 1/2 cups grated)
- 3 spring onions, finely sliced (or 1 shallot, finely diced)
- Fresh herbs, finely chopped (parsley or dill, or a combo is nice)
- 1 small chilli or 1 teaspoon chilli sauce
- 2 tablespoons plain flour
- 1 teaspoon ground flax seed mixed with 2 Tbs water (this is forms a great binder, perfect for fritters)
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- Sunflower, rapeseed or olive oil to fry.
- Grate the courgette, then mix a bit of salt in and pop it in a colander for 10 mins to draw out the juices.
- Squeeze the courgette dry with a paper towel or clean kitchen towel.
- Either pop all the rest of the ingredients except the oil into a food processor and blitz a few times until a chunky paste
- Mash the beans with a potato masher, and mix the ingredients in.
- Heat the oil in a heavy frying pan.
- Form into little patties, approx 6-7cm diameter and fry on each side.
- Serve with a salad or as part of a mezze feast.