I don't remember exactly how I stumbled on this recipe, I'm remembering vaguely that I had too many zucchini knocking around in the fridge and a can of chickpeas gathering dust (by the way, Hugo doesn't like beans, what is up with that?) and I probably did a search for a recipe that would use them up together, but the point is that by some stroke of internet luck, I happened on quick-dinner-gold that you need to know about, especially now with end-of-summer zucchini flooding markets. (Those of you with access to fresh, sweet, lovely, tender, beautiful, local corn, ENJOY IT YOU LUCKY DOGS YOU WHILE THE REST OF US MAKE DO WITH CANS SOB).
While I love the concept of vegetable fritters, I often find that in reality they aren't substantial enough for a dinner and they're too fussy for me to make as part of a larger meal. (I still think back almost weekly on the celestial tomato fritters that Max and I ate almost every night of our honeymoon in Greece, but refuse to attempt them at home because sometimes a memory has to be enough, you know?)
But these fritters, thrillingly, are hefty enough to be the whole dinner. The base is made up of chopped chickpeas, milk and flour. Baking powder gives the fritters some lift. To this you add a grated zucchini, a can of corn, some fresh herbs (I liked a mix of mint, basil and parsley) and sliced scallions. Then you dollop little portions in an oil-slicked pan and cook the patties until golden-brown and fragrant and irresistible on both sides.
You could serve these with garlic-spiked yogurt, but we ate them with hot sauce - Sriracha preferably, the sweet-hot-sour flavor livens up the fritters just perfectly. And to go out onto a limb, I imagine that a more bean-interested child would probably be happy to gobble these up unadorned, making this family-dinner material (wouldn't you say, Jenny?)
Now I need to go contemplate what other vegetables one could stuff into these things successfully and craft plans to get Hugo to eat even just one chickpea. One! Could it be that hard?
Corn, Zucchini and Chickpea Fritters
Serves 3 to 4
Note: The original recipe is Australian, hence the metric measurements. A 310-gram can of corn is approximately 11 ounces, so I'd suggest using 3/4 of a 15-ounce can of corn. You can of course use fresh or frozen corn instead.
1 400-gram (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained, rinsed
1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 large zucchini, grated
1 310-gram can corn kernels, drained
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint leaves
1 tablespoon chopped basil leaves
3 sprigs chopped flat-leaf parsley
3 scallions, thinly sliced
Sriracha sauce or other hot sauce for serving
1. Process chickpeas until roughly chopped.
2. Whisk milk and eggs in a measuring cup. Place flour in a bowl. Gradually add milk mixture to flour, whisking until smooth. Stir in chickpeas, zucchini, corn, herbs and scallions.
3. Cover a large frying pan with a thin film of oil. Heat over medium-high heat. Add 1/4 cup mixture to pan. Spread slightly with a spatula. Repeat to make 3 more fritters. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes each side or until golden and cooked through. Transfer to a plate. Cover to keep warm. Repeat with remaining mixture to make 12 fritters, replenishing the pan with oil between batches, if necessary. Serve with hot sauce.