Courgette and manouri fritters I Ottolenghi recipes online
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Courgette and manouri fritters

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3 medium courgettes, trimmed and coarsely grated (580g)
2 small shallots, finely chopped (50g)
2 garlic cloves, crushed
finely grated zest of 2 limes
60g self-raising flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
150g manouri (or halloumi or feta), roughly broken into 1–2cm chunks
about 150ml sunflower oil, for frying
coarse sea salt and black pepper

Lime and cardamom soured cream:
200ml soured cream
5g coriander, roughly chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
finely grated zest and juice of 1 lime

These were first developed for the NOPI breakfast menu by Sarit Packer and John Meechan, during the restaurant’s early days. Rumour spread and, due to popular demand, they quickly made their way on to the lunchtime and supper menus as well, where they’ve remained ever since. They make a lovely light lunch or impressive starter and are also great as a snack or canapé with drinks. If you are serving them as a snack, make them slightly smaller – 1 heaped teaspoon rather than the 1 heaped tablespoon needed for the larger portion.

These are shaped into quenelles in the restaurant. They look like little rugby balls – three-sided oval shapes – made by passing the mix between two dessertspoons, scraping the sides down as you go. They look great but the method, although very simple, is a little cheffy. We’ve therefore changed the shape to the easier round fritters here, for the home cook, but feel free to don the chef’s whites if you fancy it. All you need is two spoons and some hot water for dipping them in, so that the mixture does not stick. You’ll need to deep fry (rather than shallow fry) the quenelles so add enough oil to the pan so that it rises 5cm up the sides. Cook them for 3–4 minutes and then finish off in a 220°C/200°C fan/gas mark 7 oven for 5 minutes, so that the mixture is cooked through.

We use manouri cheese in our fritters at NOPI. It’s a Greek, semi-hard, creamy ewe’s milk cheese that’s fantastic for frying or grilling. It’s not easy to source, unfortunately, so use feta or halloumi instead.

Makes 12 fritters, to serve 4, or 24 smaller fritters, to serve 8 as a snack

(p 246, NOPI The Cookbook)

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