I picked up a punnet of big, perfect courgettes yesterday and, seduced by their bright, tight, blemish-free skins, bought them with the intention of using them in a stir-fry. But they were rather lacking in flavour (which just goes to show that, in the world of courgettes, size isn't everything). So I crumbed and frittered them, in a last burst of deep-frying before the January regime of weak thin gruel begins.
These should be served straight from the pan, hot and rustling, with the gingery vinaigrette as a dipping sauce.
Crispy Courgette 'Fritters' with a Gingery Lemon Dressing
10 medium-sized courgettes [zucchini]
1 cup (250 ml) very dry breadcrumbs (I used crushed Melba toast)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
a little flour
salt and milled black pepper
oil for deep frying
For the dressing:
2 T (30 ml) grated fresh ginger
2 T (30 ml) fresh lemon juice
1 T (15 ml) white wine vinegar
1 tsp (5 ml) Tabasco sauce
1 tsp (5 ml) sugar
120 ml fruity olive oil
1 tsp (5 ml) salt
First make the dressing. Put a sieve over a bowl, put the grated ginger in the sieve and with your fingers press down on the ginger to extract all the juice. Discard the pulp. Add all the remaining ingredients to the bowl and whisk well. Set aside.
Using a sharp knife, remove the stalks, and cut each courgette in half lengthways. Place the cut side down on a board and, holding the knife blade parallel to the board, and starting at the bottom, cut each half into neat lengthways slices about 3mm thick. Or use a mandolin with an adjustable blade.
Get out three plates. Put the flour on one plate, the beaten egg in another, and the breadcrumbs on the third.
Heat the oil in a saucepan until it reaches 160°C. (If you don't have a thermometer, click here for tips). Dip each slice first into the flour, then into the egg, and finally into the crumbs. Press down hard and then shake off any excess. Fry the slices, three to four at a time, for about a minute, or until the crumbs are crisp and golden. Drain well on kitchen paper and serve piping hot, with lemon wedges and the dressing in a separate bowl.
Serves 4 as a snack.