Necessity truly is the mother of invention. When you reach the end of the week and your fridge only has a few sad looking items languishing in the bottom then it’s time to get creative. I usually make sure I have a decent store cupboard built up so that I can turn meagre offerings into a simple delicious meal. This dish is a perfect example. I had 1 leek, a few courgettes, half a cucumber and some chilli peppers in the fridge so came up with a spicy fritter recipe this morning that used up all my odds and ends while creating a satisfying lunch that could easily be turned into a main course with the addition of some flat bread and salad.
This dish takes a little time to prep but is nice and easy so you can throw it together pretty quickly. I recommend soaking the cashews in boiling water before starting anything else. The reason I make a double batch of the cashew cream/yog is to make it easier to blend in standard blenders. I use half the mixture to make the cucumber mint dip then save the other half to make cashew sour cream by the simple addition of some apple cider vinegar ( guess who’ll be having fajita wraps tomorrow…) so nothing gets wasted.
The combination of the sweet leeks and peas with the smoky spice of the paprika and chilli is a lovely balance against the cooling yoghurt. To make this kid friendly ( if they don’t like heat) just omit the chilli and use 1/2 tsp smoked paprika instead, that version got the seal of approval from CopperTop – ” it not too piiicyyyy mama” I’ll cry the day she learns to pronounce her ‘s’ properly, she’s growing up too quickly as it is!
SPICY COURGETTE, PEA and LEEK FRITTERS with a cooling mint and cucumber dip (serves 2-3)
FRITTERS – Ingredients
- 4 cups grated courgettes ( about 2 large courgettes)
- 1 cup thinly sliced leeks
- 1/2 cup peas, defrosted
- 1 1/2 red chillies, finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 2/3 tsp cumin
- 100g/roughly 3/4 cup flour ( I used chickpea/gram flour but plain will work also)
- 1 tsp baking powder
FRITTERS – Method
Start by grating the courgette and placing in a strainer over the sink then sprinkling liberally with salt and leaving for 15 minutes. This helps leach out excess water. In the meantime, sweat the leeks in a little water for a few minutes until softened but not browned then cool slightly. Squeeze the courgette in the strainer to remove the excess water,then add everything into a large bowl except the flour and baking powder. Mix everything well, then sift in the flour and baking powder. Stir to combine. Heat a little oil in a pan to medium heat. Roll the mixture into balls then flatten slightly, shallow fry for a few minutes each side until golden brown and crisp on the outside. Serve with the dip or if serving as a main course, with added flat bread and salad.
MINT & CUCUMBER DIP – Ingredients
- 2 cups of cashews, soaked in boiling water for 30 minutes minimum
- 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- pinch of salt
- heaped 1/2 cup of cucumber, finely grated or chopped
- 2 heaped tbsp. finely chopped fresh mint leaves
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar ( if using the other half of the mixture for sour cream)
MINT & CUCUMBER DIP – Method
Drain and rinse the cashews then tip into a blender with the almond milk, lemon juice and salt. Blend on high speed until smooth, scraping down the sides a few times as necessary. When blended, tip out 1 cup of the mixture into a bowl. Squeeze the cucumber in a tea towel to remove excess water then stir it and the mint into the cashew cream. Serve garnished with mint leaves and slices of cucumber if desired. If using the rest as sour cream, simply add the apple cider vinegar to the remaining cashew cream and mix thoroughly. Spoon over everything you can as it is to die for!
I’m really loving how this recipe turned out and having made similar versions before, I know they freeze well so if you’ve leftovers, they’re easy to store for another time, or to double the batch to prep for meals during the week. I’d love to know what you think of this recipe if you try it ,please leave a comment below and subscribe via email so you don’t miss any of my ramblings 😉