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Courgette & Halloumi Fritters with Hot Honey Drizzle
It’s courgette season, and while I don’t have home grown courgettes to hand anymore (anyone who has ever grown them knows how easy it is to generate a glut, and I’m the only one in the house who likes them!) I’m still perfectly happy to experiment with all the ways I would be handling a glut should I have one I love the humble courgette so much. Every time my parents hand me the home grown variety I simply half it down the middle, rub it with good olive oil, sprinkle it with Breton Fleur de Sel sea salt and cook it on the barbecue because the flavour is too good to mess with, but I also love them grated and stirred through pasta or risotto, blitzed into a cream of courgette soup, or probably my favourite way to use up a tonne of courgettes, grated and fried into fritters.
I’ve had many ‘favourite’ ways to cook courgette fritters over the years, but last summer this new favourite method came via local food writer Rosie Birkett‘s column in BBC Good Food Magazine: courgette fritters made light and etherial with a generous amount of grated halloumi.
They ended up on the kitchen table as a ‘how on earth are we going to get through all these courgettes we’ve grown’ side dish and I was surprised that even the avowed halloumi haters around the table loved them. The halloumi, when the fritters are fried, does what halloumi does best and turns soft and molten, all the while staying in little grated shreds that lend the fritters a melting lightness and perfect seasoning, without actually tasting of either cheese or halloumi. It’s that magic secret ingredient that you don’t need to tell anyone about, but which will make your halloumi fritters better than anyone elses.
Obviously I’ve done my usual ‘adapt this recipe so it makes sense if you have less than six or more people sitting around the table’ (I’d ask why food writers do this, but I know the answer because I had to scale up a lot of my recipes in my last book too: my publishers made me, but why publishers think that people who have taken the time to buy a cookbook or read a food blog only will bother cooking something if there is a massive yield I’m still baffled) and I’ve simplified the accompanying hot honey drizzle. Rosie’s tasted delicious, but I wanted something that still had the same sweet, tangy, spicy profile that goes so well with these fritters but you could just leave to meld together on a low simmer while you get to work on the fritters.
Melt in the mouth courgette (zucchini) fritters made with grated halloumi and served with a hot honey drizzle, the ultimate high summer light lunch or side dish.
For the Courgette & Halloumi Fritters
300g (10 1/2 oz) courgette (zucchini)
1/2 tsp flaky sea salt
2 large eggs
30g (1 oz) self raising flour (see note)
20g (3/4 oz) cornflour (cornstarch)
freshly ground black pepper
125g (4 1/2 oz) halloumi
For the Hot Honey Drizzle
juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tbsp runny honey
1/2 tsp aleppo chilli flakes
Grate the courgette on the largest hole of your box grater and in a bowl toss the grated courgette together with the sea salt. Set aside.
In another large bowl, whisk together the eggs, flours and a generous amount of black pepper to form a smooth batter.
Grate the halloumi on the largest hole of your box grater and transfer to the batter. Working a handful at a time, squeeze any excess water out of the grated courgette over the kitchen sink and also add it to the batter. Stir with a large metal spoon until all the courgette and halloumi pieces are well coated in the batter mixture.
Heat a large, non-stick frying pan over a medium high heat with just enough oil to cover the bottom. Once the oil is shimmering, fry off spoonfuls of batter, pressed flat into fritters as they’re added to the pan for a few minutes until golden on each side. Set aside on a plate lined with kitchen towel in a warm place or in a warm oven to stay warm while you batch cook the rest of the batter.
While you’re frying off the fritters, combine the lemon juice, runny honey and aleppo chilli flakes in a small saucepan. Set over a medium high heat and bring to the boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to low and allow the honey mixture to simmer while you finish off the fritters: it should thicken, returning to a mixture a little thinner than the honey was before you added the lemon.
Serve the fritters immediately with the warm hot honey drizzle on the side for everyone to help themselves.
If you live in a country where self raising flour is not widely available while it helps make these fritters lighter just sub in plain flour here: the amount of difference it makes is not worth hunting it down for in this instance.
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