Meat Free Monday
In many cafés and restaurants across Ireland, courgettes are frequently (mis)used to make a poor excuse of a watery ratatouille or the sort of unappetizing vegetable ‘lasagne’ only ever eaten by desperate vegetarians with no other menu choice. Courgettes (known as zucchini to Italians and Americans) are in fact beautifully tender vegetables with a fresh, delicate flavour. The first thing you must do is to reduce the water content of the courgettes. So after you have grated them, put them in a colander, sprinkle a teaspoon of salt to draw out some of the excess moisture and leave them to drain for about an hour, with a plate or bowl underneath to catch the juices. When the hour is up, rinse the courgettes under cold, running water, squeeze out as much moisture as possible with your hands, then spread them out on a clean tea cloth and roll it up to wring out every last drop – this is very important, so the cakes are not wet. Now try this fantastic recipe below to see how this vegetable can be transformed into something truly delicious.
- 2 1/2 cups grated zucchini prepared as above
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 cup bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup minced onion
- Twist of salt and pepper
- 1/4 cup plain/all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil for frying
- In a large bowl, combine zucchini, egg, and butter or margarine. Stir in seasoned crumbs, minced onion, and seasoning. Mix well.
- Shape mixture into patties. Dredge in flour.
- In a medium skillet, heat oil over medium high heat until hot. Fry patties in oil until golden brown on both sides or if you prefer you can bake them in a medium oven also.