Recipe: Leek Zucchini Fritters
Contributor Lisa Fielding is a private chef and boutique caterer based in Manhattan who weekends in Litchfield County whenever possible. Many of her Manhattan clients are also Litchfield County weekenders, so work brings her to Northwest Connecticut as well. A Los Angeles transplant, Fielding was a former Hollywood film executive who segued into screenwriting several years ago, which enabled her to pursue her passion for food and entertaining. Lisa’s culinary skill set draws from a broad spectrum of dishes and ingredients.
My job requires a lot of research, invention and creativity. I am always on the hunt for inspiration from cookbooks, my Instagram feed (devoted almost entirely to food), online recipes and, of course, what I like to eat. I have regular clients who also rely on me to bring innovative and delicious dishes to the table so they never have to bemoan the familiarity of what’s plated before them. One client in particular enjoys an array of canapés before they sit down to dinner so there are times when I’m agonizing for just the right appetizer. At this point, I could write the ultimate appetizer bible.
Last week was no different and I was so thrilled with these delectable morsels of goodness, layers of flavor and texture that they had to take center stage in my article. Introducing the ultimate leek/zucchini fritter as inspired by the great Ottolenghi. Words of caution: these are time consuming. Or rather, a little complicated — but all of the steps insure that you won’t end up with a runny batter that will disintegrate when it hits the hot fryer. Instead, these fritters puff up and the end result is a doughy but not heavy poof stuffed with a medley of vegetables and exotic spices. Make these for your next cocktail soiree and I promise you will thank me in the morning.
Leek & Zucchini Fritters
Makes around 3 dozen 2-inch diameter fritters.
Adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi’s “Plenty”
For the sauce:
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1/2 cup sour cream
1 heaping tbl Dijon mustard
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp. Sriracha sauce
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup finely chopped Italian parsley leaves
¼ cup snipped chives
¼ cup finely chopped cilantro leaves
¼ cup chopped capers
For the fritters:
3 medium leeks (I used red leeks), rinsed, dried, sliced in quarters and thinly sliced again
5 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
1 large zucchini cut into small dice
4 tbl olive oil
1 cup canola oil for frying
1/2 cup Italian parsley, finely chopped
¼ cup snipped chives
3/4 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 egg white
1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 tbl baking powder
1 large egg
2/3 cup milk
5 tbl unsalted butter, melted
Start by making the sauce. Put all the sauce ingredients into the bowl of a food processor except for the capers, blitz together until a uniform green, then turn into a decorative bowl for serving. Turn in the capers.
Over medium heat, sauté the leeks, shallots and zucchini in the olive oil until soft, about 15 minutes. Then transfer to a bowl and add the parsley, spices, sugar and salt. Leave to cool.
Whisk the egg white to soft peaks and fold it into the vegetables. In another bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, egg, milk and butter to form a batter. Gently mix this into the egg white and vegetable mixture.
Place ¾ of the canola oil in a frying pan over medium heat about 4 minutes. To test, drop a bit of batter in the oil, if it sizzles and floats, oil is ready. Using a small spoon, drop the mixture (about 2 teaspoons at a time) into the pan and fry for two to three minutes a side, until golden and crisp. Transfer to cookie sheet covered with a double paper towel and repeat, adding oil as needed, until the mixture is used up. Serve warm with the sauce on the side. This goes great with a chilled Sancerre or Rose.