Don’t panic! I am here to rescue you from the flood of courgettes filling your garden/farmers market/greengrocer as we speak.
These fritters are one of my absolute favourite things to make with courgettes. Delicious straight out of the pan, cold from the fridge, or anywhere in between (I’ve tried them all). I’ve served them here with a quick tomato jam, but they are also brilliant with Crème Fraîche (add a little lemon, seasoning, fresh herbs perhaps. Or treat some sour cream or full-fat yoghurt the same way). Often I make both dips and change my mind every other bite about which is better. You’ll have to do some painstaking research of your own.
To make a more substantial dinner of it I usually serve with some lemony roast baby potatoes and a big green salad. Though the day I did these photos, we were on a bit of a roasted broccoli bender.
My thanks to Felicity Cloake for this recipe which I have barely changed, and to Deb at Smitten Kitchen for her nearly identical one which Cloake used in developing her recipe. Both are worth reading on this and just about every other subject!
Yield: 12 fritters serving 2-4 people, depending on appetite and what it’s served with.
I like these best with the mint and feta but they are absolutely delicious plain, or try any other soft herbs or cheeses you think you’d like. Cheddar and parsley, or ricotta and basil are just two combos that spring to mind.
For the quick tomato jam:
- 1 tablespoon neutral oil
- 1 red onion, finely diced
- Fresh red chilli, finely chopped, to taste
- 3 medium fresh tomatoes, diced
- 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- Plenty of salt and freshly ground pepper, to season
For the fritters:
- 500g courgettes (approximately 2 medium-large courgettes)
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 scallions, washed, trimmed, and finely chopped.
- A handful of fresh mint, finely chopped (optional)
- 100g crumbled feta (optional)
- 40g plain flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 20g fine polenta/cornmeal (optional, you can use an extra 20g of flour)
- freshly ground black pepper
- 2 eggs, beaten
- Sunflower or other neutral oil, to fry.
To make the tomato jam, heat the oil in a small saucepan over a medium heat. Add the diced onion and chilli, along with a pinch of salt, and fry for about ten minutes or until soft and starting to caramelize. Add the tomatoes, sugar, and vinegar and season well with salt and pepper. Cook for a further 15 minutes or so, until thick and jammy. Remove the jam to a small serving dish to cool while you proceed with the fritters.
Coarsely grate the courgettes and place in a large bowl with the salt. Mix well and leave for 15-30 minutes so the salt has time to draw the water out of the courgettes. Place the softened courgettes in a clean tea towel or muslin, and squeeze very well over the bowl to remove the water (put the tea towel straight in the wash, or maybe buy a tea towel that is already green). Marvel at how the courgettes now weighs half as much. Discard the water (I have yet to find a use for it as it’s very salty, but you could experiment with adding it to soups or risottos). Return the grated courgettes to the bowl.
Add the scallions, mint, and feta (if using) to the courgettes and stir to combine. Mix the flour, baking powder, cornmeal, and pepper together in a small dish, then stir gently into the courgette mixture. Add the beaten eggs and gently stir again until well combined.
Coat the base of a frying pan with the oil and heat over a medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, add heaped spoonfuls of the courgette mixture. Make sure there is space between the fritters so they don’t stick together.
Cook for a couple of minutes until golden brown underneath, then flip and repeat. Remove to a dish lined with paper towels. Repeat until you have used all of the courgette mixture, adding more oil to the pan between batches if needed.
Try to eat them quicker than your garden grows new ones, and repeat all summer.