Zucchini Fritters with Feta

Here’s another recipe that I heard on the radio and then nearly drove straight to the store for the ingredients.  I think the NPR host who got to talk to the lovely Nigella Lawson enjoyed the food almost as much as the company. You can listen to them talk by following the link at the bottom.

I proudly served the fritters to my wife as a vegetarian dish. She tried to tell me that fried zucchini with feta cheese is only “kinda vegetarian.”  I disagree.

This is the recipe that also taught me that the grater attachment on the food processor has two settings depending on which side you use.

We serve the fritters with a Greek salad made by mixing cucumber slices and tomato chunks with some feta crumbles and then drizzling the bowl with some of Kraft’s Greek vinaigrette salad dressing.

The recipe begins: “I know the word fritter conjures up a complex world of deep-frying and dense eating, but these are light, simple babies — just grated zucchini, mixed with feta, herbs and scallions, stirred up with flour and eggs and dolloped into a frying pan to make little vegetable pancakes which, unlike most fried food, are best eaten not straight out of the pan, but left to cool to room temperature. This takes any slaving over a hot stove element out of the equation: you just spoon serenely away over your pan before anyone’s around.

I like these best as a starter — or just as they are, along with a green salad, for a meat-free, summer’s lunch.”

* 4 zucchini (approx. 1 pounds)

* 5-6 scallions, finely chopped

* 9 ounces feta cheese

* small bunch fresh parsley, chopped

* small bunch fresh mint, chopped, plus extra to sprinkle over at the end

* 1 tablespoon dried mint

* 1 teaspoon paprika

* scant 1 cup all-purpose flour

* salt and pepper

* 3 eggs, beaten

* olive oil for frying

* 3-4 limes

Coarsely grate the zucchini with either the grating blade in the food processor or by hand. Spread the little shards out on a tea towel and leave for about 20 minutes to get rid of any excess wetness.

Put the chopped scallions in a bowl and crumble in the feta. Stir in the chopped parsley and mint, along with the dried mint and paprika. Add the flour and season well with salt and pepper. Gradually add the beaten egg and mix thoroughly before stirring in the drained, grated zucchini. Don’t be alarmed by the unflowing straggly lumpiness of this batter; it’s meant to be this way.

This recipe has not been tested by NPR.

Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a large frying pan and drop heaped dessert spoons of the moisture into the hot oil, flattening the little cakes down the back of the spoon as you go. Cook these little patties for about 2 minutes each side until golden, and then transfer to a couple of waiting plates.

Chop up the limes and tumble them about the edges of the plates. Sprinkle over a little more chopped mint and eat them just as they are, spritzed with lime juice as you go.

Makes about 25.

Reprinted from Forever Summer by Nigella Lawson. Published by Hyperion Books.

From: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=112179487

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