Recipes | Courgette and feta fritters with yogurt


Courgette and feta fritters with yogurt

For those whose courgettes (zucchini) just won't stop producing here's the perfect way to use them from Tom Hunt's lovely book The Natural Cook.

Tom runs a restaurant in Bristol called Poco which is based on making the best of what's available in the market - they don't have a fixed menu just cook from what's good on the day. The book tells you how to do the same.

Tom writes: "These are a wonderful Greek classic. They are easy to make, incredibly moreish and keep well, so can be made ahead, then reheated.

Serves 4 as a starter

200g courgettes

extra virgin olive oil

1 spring onion, finely sliced

3 sprigs of dill, chopped

9 mint leaves, roughly chopped

70g feta, crumbled

1 small egg, lightly beaten

2 tbsp plain flour

6 courgette flowers (optional)

light olive oil

80g Greek yogurt, to serve

For this recipe, pick the very freshest, crispest courgettes. Give them a wash, take a box grater and turn it on its side. Run the courgette along the grater, creating long strings of it. Keep going until the courgette loses its rigidity, then finely slice the leftover piece with a knife.

Spread the courgette spaghetti on a clean tea towel and leave for five minutes, then fold the tea towel on top and pat it dry.

Transfer to a bowl and add the rest of the ingredients, except the courgette flowers (if using), oil and yogurt.

Mix well and season with pepper; you probably won’t need much (if any) salt, as the feta is salty. If you have courgette flowers, stuff them with some of the mixture. Place a heavy-based frying pan over a medium heat with a glug of light olive oil. Drop a small piece of the courgette mixture into the pan to test if it is hot enough: when it sizzles, the pan is at the right temperature.

First fry the stuffed courgette flowers, if you have them. Then drop large tablespoons of the rest of the mixture into the pan. Whether cooking flowers or fritters, allow them to colour to a light brown on one side, then flip and colour on the other.

When cooked, remove from the pan and rest on a clean tea towel or kitchen paper to absorb excess oil.

Serve with Greek yogurt, or make tzatziki by adding a little finely chopped cucumber, crushed garlic, extra virgin oil, lemon juice and seasoning to it.

What to drink: These need something light and fresh - and following Tom's philosophy, local. A crisp English white wine, a dry cider, or homemade lemonade would all be good choices in Bristol. Elsewhere think Sauvignon Blanc, Portuguese Vinho Verde or a dry rosé. Or a witbier.

Extracted from The Natural Cook by Tom Hunt (Quadrille, £20). Photograph: Laura Edwards.

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