At first thought, courgettes seem to be a bit one-dimensional. I mean how much can you actually do with a courgette? But on closer inspection, this small sausage shaped green or yellow, plain or striped Summer vegetable, also known as a zucchini or baby marrow, can be enjoyed in as many ways as your imagination will allow.
We love them in stir-fries; gently fried directly on the grille; baked until the inside is squishy soft or even diced finely into pasta bakes or fried rice dishes. Sometimes they’re grated into bolognaise sauce, savoury muffins or cake mixtures, but making fritters is one of my favourites.
They hold a lot of moisture, so if you are grating them for something, it is best to place the grated bits onto a clean tea-towel and squeeze the liquid out into a separate bowl. The tea-towel will probably never be the same again as, like potato, the juice can stain. But the difference to the end result speaks for itself. Don’t worry about wasting all those lovely vitamins in the juice, use it the next morning in a smoothie or add to a home-made stock.
I prefer to cook these on my Breville HealthSmart grille and sandwich press, it’s less messy than heating up the oil and frying them, healthier too. This way I literally drop the batter onto the grille (flat side please) in individual portions but DON’T close the grille! After a couple of minutes, simply flip them over using a non-stick spatula and voila! They’re done!
1 – 2 cups grated courgette
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
2 cloves garlic, minced or finely chopped
1 large egg, beaten
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil (if frying in a saucepan)
- Wash and finely grate the courgette. Place in a clean tea-towel and squeeze out all the liquid into a separate bowl (or into the sink if you aren’t saving it). Remove as much moisture as possible.
- Add all other ingredients, except the oil, and combine well.
- If frying stove-top, heat the oil in a pan and place spoonfuls into the hot oil, carefully – no splashing! Like with pancakes or crumpets, when the top has little bubbles, it’s ready to turn.
- If using a sandwich press or health grille, no oil needed. Space dollops of the mixture onto the flat press and after a couple of minutes, flip with a non-stick spatula.
- Remove from the oil and drain off the oil by placing on a double layer of kitchen paper towel for a few seconds.
- Delicious hot or cold with a little plain yoghurt, sour cream or sweet chilli sauce drizzled over them or as a dipping sauce.