When I was contacted by the lovey people in charge of PR for The Second Black Dog Cottage Cookbook who asked if I’d like to try out a few recipes from the book and share the recipes with all you fine people, I of course jumped at the chance. My elder sister had a copy of Adie McClelland’s first cookbook, Black Dog Cottage Cookbook and I have it on her word that it is amazing so I was very excited about having a chance to test out one of the recipes and let you guys all know what I thought.
They offered me a range of delicious choices, and although I was sorely tempted to try out the Warm Salad of Lamb, Asparagus, Spring Onions and Pomegranate Seeds with Lentil and Black Olives or the Rolled Baklava with Orange Syrup and Greek Yoghurt, I eventually set my mind to the Zuchinni, Mint and Feta Fritters. Not only did I already have most of the ingredients on hand already, but it was fast, easy and it sounded delicious. I love the combination of Zuchinni and mint at the worst of times, and I’ve yet to meet a savoury recipe that wasn’t improved by the addition of feta. Basically, it sounded ideal to me.
As you can see from above, this is not a recipe that skimps on zucchini. If you’re looking for a fritter recipe that can ‘hide’ the zucchini from your kids and other reluctant vegetable eaters, this is not the one for you. However if you’re looking for something that clebrates spring flavours and really highlights the versatility of zuchinni’s then you’ll probably love this. One of my favourite things about this recipe was the scent of mint that permeated through my kitchen as I was cooking. The final product doesn’t taste overwhelmingly of mint, you get just a refreshing hint that cuts through the richness of the feta, but mint has such a sweet and soothing smell that it’s always a pleasure for me to cook with it. If you end up buying a wee plant of it like I did, you might end up with quite a lot of mint left over, but that’s not a problem. You can steam some fresh peas and mash it with chevre and mint to spread over bruschetta or make a refreshing mint granita. In other words there are a world of things you can do with leftover mint.
I served the finished product with a spinach and capsicum salad with a little sake and seasame dressing, and it was delicious. Zucchini and mint are a classic combination and work really well in these fritters. I also really liked how the creamy feta melted within the mixture and really made them taste rich and indulgent. They really are very good, and would work not just for dinner but also would be great for brunch (just imagining a little bacon and a poached egg on top of a tower of these fritters is making my mouth water) , and the recipe will make a lot: enough that you might become overwhelmed with how many fritters you have and end up serving them to your flatmates who luckily are always grateful for free food.
The best advice I can give you about this recipe is to really make sure you salt and drain the zucchini well before you mix them into the fritter base. I drained mine for about an hour, but found that it wasn’t enough and ended up with quite a wet mixture that I had trouble bringing together to make fritters. This was easily remedied by adding a little extra flour to the mix, but next time I make it, I’ll definitely be more careful to make sure the zucchini’s are dry.
Zucchini, Mint and Feta Fritters.
3 Zuchinni, grated
2 eggs, whisked
2 tbsp flour, sifted
4 spring onions, finely chopped
handful of mint, finely chopped
80g feta, crumbled
freshly ground pepper
1. Lightly flick some salt over the grated zuchinni, place in a sieve with a weight on top for at least an hour so that any excess moisture from them will drain off.
2. Make a batter with the eggs and flour, let this stand while the zucchini’s are draining.
3. Combine spring onions, mint, feta, ground pepper and zucchini into batter and mix well.
4. Splash some oil in a pan, when hot, add small spoonfuls of batter of your desired size, pressing down slightly, turn over when golden and cook through the other side. Drain on kitchen paper.