No fry veggie fritters

No-fry veggie fritters

When eating veggies doesn't feel like eating veggies


Have you ever had veggie fritters? If not at home, maybe while on holiday in Greece? They come in many forms, most commonly called kolokithokeftedes (courgette kofta),made with - you guessed it! - courgettes.

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There are many many variations, depending on the vegetable used, and not surprisingly there are lots of recipes out there for veggie fritters too, made with anything from courgette to tomato, and from aubergine to carrot (or a combination). You can also make veggie fritters from mashed beans of all kinds (falafel would be the original model here).

Not surprisingly, they all follow the same pattern : Grated or mashed veggies/pulses mixed with spices and flavourings (anything from cumin to grated cheese) and a binding agent (usually flour and/or egg), the mixture formed into balls or patties and then fried in hot oil.

Just like cauliflower pizza, they are a great way to get some vegetables into veggie reluctant eaters - most people, including kids, love meatballs or burger type things!

But there is a catch, at least for me: Delicious as they are, I do not make them often, because the high heat frying they need is so messy and smoky (especially in my kitchen with a badly functioning extractor hood).

I had stumbled on recipes that baked rather than fried the patties, which seemed like a great idea. It stuck at the back of my head, but until this week, I hadn't actually tried to make them this way. I'm so glad I finally did - inspired by this recipe. It also uses ground seeds instead of flour which adds a welcome hint of nuttiness and makes the fritters a lot more nutritious - never a bad thing!

They turned out great - I will definitely be making these again and again now!

Here's a recipe template that's easy to follow and adapt:

  • get your oven hot (to 220C)
  • grate the veggies (or mash up the cooked/tinned beans) - about 100g per person
  • grind some sunflower and/or pumpkin - about 50g per person (half the veggie weight)
    • you can also add finer seeds like chia, linseed, or sesame into the mix
  • mix with an egg or two, and a glug of olive oil
  • add salt, spices & herbs (I like cumin & paprika, and any herbs I happen to have)
    • add grated or crumbled cheese if you like
  • line a baking sheet with baking paper and oil the surface
  • form balls, patties or simply put spoonfuls of 'blobs' of the mix onto the sheet
  • bake in a hot oven until golden (approx 15 mins)
  • serve with hummus, pesto, tomato salsa or any other sauce or dip you like

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Extra tips and variations:

  • If using aubergine you need to cook them first: cut in half, slash the flesh on the cut side, add some olive oil and salt and bake in a hot oven until soft and charring at the edges. Pull the flesh off the skin
  • If you want them more crispy, dust the patties in polenta (ground maize) before baking them.
  • By using seeds instead of flour you already have a gluten free patty (or try a gluten free flour like buckwheat)
  • For a vegan version try a 'flax egg': mix 1 tbsp ground flax/linseed with 2 tbsp (double volume) of water and let stand until it gels, then add to your mixture. Flax binding is more fragile than egg so I would probably add a bit of flour into the mix too for more binding power.

Categories: COOK

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