Tasty Tuesday

Lisa’s Lunches · Zucchini Fritters

Lisa Marie Corso
Tuesday 28th June 2016

OH NO. It’s over. Today is the final instalment of ‘Lisa’s Lunches’, from our very own Lisa Marie Corso. All good things must come to an end!

Lisa leaves us with a signature dish that often finds its way into her weekday lunchbox – zucchini fritters. These delectable morsels are based on a recipe from Lisa’s Nonna, pimped up slightly with the addition of fetta and lemon zest. ‘It’s times like these I am glad Nonna doesn’t have the internet’ Lisa says.

 

 

Everyone has a vice, some are worse than others. Mine is olive oil. I can’t get enough. If you are a raw vegetable, beware, because you are about to enter the Lisa Marie Corso day spa. I will bathe you in olive oil and rub you in salt. I like to think of it as Italian exfoliation.

I have consumed so much olive oil in my 27 years that I’m certain there’s enough pumping through me to put Cobram Estate out of business. Every time I recount a recipe to my friends, they ask if I used a ‘Corso amount’ of olive oil, knowing that a glug or a splash is never enough. You know you have a serious problem when your name becomes part of the metric system.

It’s not just me. Fritters. Fritters love olive oil too. In fact, what is a fritter without olive oil, besides some sad, wet ingredients in a bowl? A fritter would literally fall apart without piping hot olive oil to give it that irresistible golden crunch. These zucchini fritters are based on my Nonna’s recipe, pimped up a little. It’s times like these I am so glad she doesn’t have the internet.

Ingredients (makes approx 12 fritters)

  • 2 small zucchinis, sliced using a julienne peeler
  • 1 egg
  • 1-1.5 cups of flour
  • 1 can of lemonade (yes)
  • 1/2 a brown onion, diced
  • 100g fetta
  • Parsley
  • 2 tsp of lemon zest, optional
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Olive oil, duh

The key to making a good zucchini fritter is how you prep your zucchini. Grating zucchini is an ordeal, it produces too much moisture, forcing you to wring the moisture out like it’s a wet towel. Personally, I like to keep my laundry and kitchen duties separate, which is why I cheat, and use a julienne peeler.

The julienne peeler is perhaps my favourite kitchen tool. It has a casual nonchalance about it. It effortlessly creates perfectly proportionate strips of zucchini that are ideal for frying. Once you peel your zucchinis, cut the strips in half. Put in a bowl.

Dice half a brown onion. Then in a pan, fry the onion until it is translucent and partially caramelised. Add onion to the bowl with the zucchini.

Let’s add a few more things to the bowl now. Add: one cup of flour, crumbled fetta (use as much or as little as you prefer), coarsely chopped parsley, lemon rind, egg, and a splash of warm lemonade. I know, weird right? But my Nonna adds lemonade, so who am I to judge? (I think it acts similarly to a bicarbonate agent, making the mixture light and airy).

Mix ingredients together. There’s your workout for the day.

If the fritter batter looks a little dry, add some tap water and a little more lemonade. You are after a partially wet consistency. I keep the remaining half cup of flour as ‘fritter insurance’ and use it sparingly if need be.

Now we fry.

Put a ‘Corso amount’ of olive in a pan. A ‘Corso amount’ is approximately 5 free-falling seconds worth of oil. Set pan to medium-high and allow oil to heat. Be patient, it is worth it.

Using a tablespoon, scoop dollops of the fritter batter into the pan. Wait for a sizzle. Enjoy the moment. Repeat process. Don’t crowd the pan!

Cook fritters until they are golden, then flip. Usually 2 minutes or so per side. Once cooked remove from pan and allow to drain on my Nonna’s favourite kitchen non-utensil: the paper towel.

These fritters taste exceptional when they are hot and crunchy, the little strips of zucchini go a bit tempura-like in texture. They also keep well in the fridge, and can even be eaten cold, which makes them perfect for a workday lunch.

Zucchini fritters with a side salad of mixed leaves, pear and a French vinaigrette dressing. Recipe by Lisa Marie Corso. From left to right: Dog In A Teacup X Eleonor Bostrom from Third Drawer Down, (LISA ADD ORNAMENT), Dinner plate by Valerie Restarick, Fork by 2K Labware. Photo – Eve Wilson. Styling – Lucy Feagins, assistant styling – Nat Turnbull.


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