Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Courgette fritters

I love courgettes, but have to admit that sometimes I run out of inspiration with them, and end up doing ratatouille or steaming them and dressing them with lemon juuice, so this is a useful addition to the repertoire. In one eating place in Edinburgh I was served them raw in a salad. Not quite sure what was going on there. I guess the cook didn't know the difference between a courgette and a cucumber, which is not exactly reassuring.

We had these as part of an al fresco supper in my parents' garden in Edinburgh. I like the way you just have to get on with it in Scotland, despite the weather. As long as it's not raining AND windy then it's alright to go out in. Too chilly to eat out of doors in the middle of July? Put your coat on!

1 medium onion
olive oil
1 clove of garlic
3 smallish courgettes
4 medium eggs
Plain flour (2-3 tablespoons)

  1. Chop the onion very finely, and fry gently in plenty of olive oil. In the meantime, mince the garlic and chop the courgettes finely. Once the onions are translucent, add the garlic, fry for another 30 seconds or so, then add the courgettes, and cook gently until done. (A good 10 minutes or so.)
  2. In a large bowl, beat 4 eggs. Add the courgette mixture, and then mix in the flour a tablespoon at a time until you have a loose batter.
  3. Heat a large non-stick frying pan with a little oil in it. Once it is hot, use a serving spoon to add as many spoonfuls of the fritter mixture as will comfortably fit into the pan (remember that you will need a little space to turn them). After a couple of minutes the fritters should done on side, so flip them over until they are done, then remove from the pan.

I got the idea for this from Claudia Roden's book Arabesque, which covers Morocco, Turkey and Lebanon. I quite often skim books at friends' houses or in bookshops and then have a bash at producing the recipe (or a bastardised version of it) later. Not having the book in front of you relieves you of any anxiety about whether you should or shouldn't be following it step by step. Cookery should also involve invention, improvisation and innovation. Otherwise you might as well make Airfix models (although admittedly they don't taste very good).

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