Yes, they probably should be zucchini and feta fritters, but go on, say it out loud: 'courgette and feta fritters.' It sounds so much better than zucchini. Besides, I'm British. It's a courgette.
These work wonderfully as canapes at a party—you can fry them in advance and reheat them briefly in the oven—but also as part of a main meal. Roast a selection of vegetables, knock up a pilaf, and mix together some tzatziki and you've a Greek-style supper to enjoy with a glass of white wine. If, like my parents, you grow your own vegetables and find that you have gluts of this or that, these make a great courgette-glut-reducer.
I've given a recipe suitable for two people as a main meal or for ten canape-sized fitters. Grating the courgettes by hand for the quantity won't be too demanding (just remember: courgettes are cheaper than fingers), but if you want to double, treble, or quadruple it, you might want to use a food processor.
- 2 good-sized courgettes (say, 400g or 14oz in total), grated
- 1tspn salt
- ½ medium-sized onion, minced
- 100g (3oz) feta cheese, crumbled
- 1 egg
- 4tbsp flour
- 1tbsp fresh mint, chopped
- Zest of half a lemon
- Black pepper
- Flavourless oil (I use sunflower) for frying
Place the grated courgettes in a sieve, sprinkle with the salt, and leave them to degorge their bitter juices for 20 minutes or so. When osmosis has done its thing, rinse the courgettes thoroughly (you don't want them to be all salt and no courgette) and dry well in a clean tea towel. (Don't hang about when rinsing and drying, or they'll reabsorb the water.)
In a large bowl, mix together the courgette, onion, feta, egg, mint, lemon zest, and pepper. Gradually add the flour to bring the mixture to a firm-ish consistency. You don't want it too sloppy, but neither should it be stiff and unmoving.
Heat 2cm (a little under 1") of oil in a large frying pan. When the oil reaches temperature (a small dollop of mixture should sizzle when dropped into it) drop dessert spoons of the mixture into the oil and fry them for a few minutes on each side. (You'll need to do this in batches.) They should be golden and any blobs of cheese you can see might be bubbling.
Remove the fritters from the pan and drain well on kitchen paper. If you've lots on the go, you might want to keep them warm in a low oven.
Plate them up, spritz them with lemon juice, and enjoy.