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In the Veg Boxes This Week
Subject to last minute changes
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The Nice Bit
This week, I want to talk about one of my go-to tricks for veg I don’t know what to do with. I’m sure it doesn’t work for everything, but there’s not much you can’t work with if you’re happy to experiment. They’re good hot or cold, and can be a starter or snack on their own, or accompanied with a fried egg, a dip, or some beans to make a meal. They’re often a way to make veg more friendly to kids, but they aren’t limited in their appeal.
I’m talking, of course, about fritters. Is there anything more universally loved than fried vegetables? Much like dumplings, fritters are a category of food you find in cuisines from all over the world: pakora, gorengan, akara, tempura, kuku, latke. The reason for their popularity is clear: as well as all of the above praise, they also stretch a little of something into a dish that can feed many. You can combine a little of a lot of ingredients, stretching them out with flour and maybe eggs. And they’re generally delicious, crisp-edged and soft-middled.
Keeping it simple, in the spirit of the last week of the summer holidays, here are some links to recipes to fritterise almost everything in our veg boxes this week. But as always, I encourage you to adapt and experiment, adding cheeses, herbs, spices, other veg, leftovers, whatever you have in already to make your fritters yours.
Courgette fritters are how I got started on my fritter-loving journey, and this recipe, which is seasoned with loads of black pepper and served with sour cream (tzatziki also works beautifully) is the very one that helped me understand the power of a good frying pan and a cheese grater.
These Fennel fritters are new to me but ooh don’t they look beautiful, puffed up and fragilely crisp? They’re Greek, vegan, and apparently often served as part of a mezze meal- which to me means you have permission to accompany them with whatever else you fancy eating. These ones are made with just the fronds or herb, but you can also include the bulbs, as they do in this recipe.
Celery fritters might sound a little out-there but I think they’re a dream dinner party starter. A great way to use up half a head of celery, a vegetable notorious for being pushed to the back of the drawer after two sticks have been snapped off and snacked on.
Broad bean fritters are perfect, especially as you can also make fritters from the pods. Double the fritters!
I found a lot of different recipes for chard fritters, from these herby, feta-ey ones from Ottolenghi to these parmesan-ey ones.
Vegan pea and kale fritters enriched with miso: yes please.
I’ll end with these beetroot fritters, to serve with salmon tartare, but please don’t you end your fritter journey there. Almost anything you can think of can be shredded, mixed into batter & fried, so use this as your all-purpose trick for transforming veg into a treat.
Photo: “Vada” by Harsha KR on Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0