I said I’d take a starter to dinner at Trish’s new house in Matakana. I really wanted to do something substantial, and a bit different from my usual delicate nibbles, and for some reason I was really fixating on fritters – specifically courgette and feta fritters. Courgettes are pretty far out of season though, and in a moment of inspiration before I’d quite woken up on Saturday morning, the idea of carrot and feta popped into my head. These took a bit of experimenting to get right, but I’m really pleased with how they ended up. The sweetness of the carrot, the saltiness of feta, subtle spice and a spike of chilli all came together in a tasty little orange package. I served these with a yoghurt sauce made with Dairy Collective’s gorgeous plain yoghurt and a little mint and coriander pesto. Then I served them again tonight as a side dish (just two per person) with a seared lamb fillet. I suspect they'd also be perfect in wee tiny versions as a canape. Enjoy.
Makes 24 fritters
4 large carrots
2 teaspoons pesto (optional)
½ teaspoon chilli flakes
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
¼ cup cornmeal flour (or use plain flour)
Grate the carrots and roughly crumble the feta. Place in a large bowl and add all the other ingredients except the salt and eggs. Taste the mixture for seasoning and spices and adjust to your taste, adding salt if needed (feta can be really salty, so taste it first). Then add the eggs and mix well.
Heat a large pan over a medium heat. Spray with a little oil. Form dessert-spoon sized portions of the mixture into fritters. Fry in batches, turning as they brown.
These can be made ahead and re-heated in the oven.They are gluten-free and FODMAP-friendly, too.