Zucchini Fritters

Zucchini Fritters are quite an easy brunch dish to make, whether just for family or for friends.  You may make them any way you like, using whatever you have in your refrigerator, as I do.  In this recipe, I use Barber’s 1833 Vintage Reserve White English Cheddar; it is my husband’s and my favorite cheddar cheese, and it is always in our refrigerator.  However, you may use Parmesan, Asiago, or even Pecorino Romano as your cheese of choice.  Also, instead of corn flour, you may use regular flour (this will make the fritter a bit more pancake-like), potato flour, chickpea flour … the list is practically endless.

ZUCCHINI FRITTERS

7 green Zucchini
3 tablespoons Corn Flour
1 organic Egg
1 large Garlic clove – grated
1/2 cup grated aged white English Cheddar – Barber’s 1833
1/2 teaspoon Salt
10 grinds Black Pepper
1/4 cup Grapeseed Oil or light Olive Oil

GARNISH

3 tablespoons Lebanese Labneh or Sour Cream
1 tablespoon Italian Parsley – finely chopped
3 grinds Black Pepper

Begin by washing and grating your zucchini using a box grater.  Squeeze all the moisture out of your shredded / grated zucchini, and place them in a bowl.  Add the corn flour, egg, grated garlic clove, grated aged Cheddar cheese, salt, and pepper.  Mix well, until all the ingredients are properly incorporated.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.  Form the zucchini mixture into patties, and very gently place them individually into the hot oil.  Do not crowd the pan, as you want the patties to caramelize and form a crust.  Also, be careful not to splatter yourself with the oil.  After they form a crust on one side, which can take 2 -3 minutes, gently turn them over, and allow them to caramelize until they reach the desired crispiness.

Remove the fritters from the oil, and place them on a plate lined with two or three paper towels.  This will keep your fritters from being too oily.  Allow them to sit for a minute or so, as you finely chop the Italian parsley.  Place the fritters in a serving plate, topping each fritter with a teaspoon of labneh or sour cream.  Sprinkle the chopped parsley and freshly ground black pepper over them.  Serve and Enjoy!


Cannellini Bean & Vegetable Soup w/ Sprouted Bread Gremolata

With the holiday season upon us and winter eminently approaching, we tend to eat more than usual, and less healthy than usual.  So, In an effort to be a little healthier during the non-holiday meals, I have been making more vegetarian dishes for my family.  I hope this deliciously light and healthy soup serves as a worthy alternative to thick and creamy soups and stews for you this season.

CANNELLINI BEANS AND VEGETABLE SOUP WITH SPROUTED BREAD GREMOLATA

1 yellow Onion
2 large Shallots
6 large Garlic cloves
2 Tomatoes
6 Carrots – peeled
3 cups cooked Cannillini Beans
1 tablespoon Tomato Paste
8 cups Chicken Stock
1 Bay leaf
1 teaspoon Piment d’Espelette (optional)
2 teaspoons Sea Salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground Black Pepper
3 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Begin by peeling and rough chopping the onions, shallots, garlic, and carrots.  In a dutch oven or a large pot on medium heat, sauté the peeled and chopped vegetables in the olive oil.  Once the onions, shallot, carrots, and garlic are translucent, chop and add the tomatoes.  Allow the tomatoes to cook down for about 3 – 5 minutes.  Add the cooked beans and stir.  Add the tomato paste, piment d’espelette, salt, and pepper, and stir  everything together to get all the ingredients incorporated.

Add the bay leaf and the chicken stock.  Cover the soup, and allow it to simmer for about 30 – 40 minutes.  Remove the bay leaf.  You may serve it as is, in its current rustic style.  I, however, prefer it puréed and topped with a fresh gremolata.  Place the soup into a blender, and purée it.  Place the puréed soup back in the dutch oven or pot on very low heat, while you make the gremolata.

SPROUTED BREAD GREMOLATA

2 slices Sprouted Bread
2 Garlic cloves1 large Lemon – zested
1/2 cup Italian Parsley – loosely packed
Pinch of Sea Salt
5 grinds of Black Pepper

I usually chop the ingredients of my gremolata by hand, but this time I use a food processor.  Begin by toasting or broiling the sprouted bread on high.  Be very careful not to burn the bread, even though you want it to be well toasted completely through.  Let the toast stand (upright if you can), as it hardens a little more.

In a food processor, pulse the garlic cloves and salt.  Crumble the bread and add it to the food processor, and pulse.  Now add the lemon zest and Italian parsley.  Process all the ingredients together.  You may lightly sauté the gremolata in olive oil, if you want a crispier texture.  However, I decide to skip this part.   I am, after all, going for a lighter application.  The sprouted bread gremolata is ready.

In an individual serving bowl, ladle the puréed soup, and then top it with a spoonful of gremolata.  Serve and enjoy!