Zucchini Sweet Potato Fritters

Zucchini/Sweet Potato Fritters with Yogurt Sauce

Zucchini/Sweet Potato Fritters with Yogurt Sauce

As I’ve told you before, on Saturday mornings, I go to the Charlottesville City Market. Since April, these market visits have also been coffee dates with Sarah. We gab about recipes we have created recently and our ever-evolving life plans as we seek out our favorite vendors and discover new ones.

A few weeks ago, when neither of us needed to be buying anything else, we saw the most beautiful potatoes at a little produce stand that I remember purchasing from in years past–they proudly display a plaque that identifies them as one of the oldest vendors at our market. A young man was behind the table, while an older man, with one of the most thick southern accents I have come across in recent memory, stood next to the table, chatting with customers as they stopped to check out his veggies. As Sarah and I discussed the lovely potatoes before us, the old farmer not only convinced us each to buy some, but he threw in extras as a bonus! My bonus was two small, white sweet potatoes.

White Sweet Potatoes

White Sweet Potatoes

I quickly decided exactly what to do with the potatoes– combine them with the zucchini I had at home to make zucchini/potato fritters. And so, as usual, I did a bit of research to see exactly how one creates the fritters I had in mind. I looked for both zucchini recipes and potato recipes, and found inspiration from Smitten Kitchen and Sprouted Kitchen, two blogs I read regularly.

As more and more time passes since I first began to read blogs, I realize that these women are becoming my “friends”–even those with whom I have never spoken. I know little bits about their lives, the precious moments they share with the world, and I learn about them through the recipes they create. As I read their posts, study their recipes, and make them my own, it’s like I am in the kitchen with a good friend. I only wish I could be in the kitchen with these women, sipping tea and learning from them, playing the role of sous chef, or just watching them work.

For now, I’ll have to settle for cooking their recipes–or my variations on them.

Fritters cook best in a Cast Iron skillet

Fritters cook best in a Cast Iron skillet

Zucchini Sweet Potato Fritters with Yogurt Sauce

Inspired by Smitten Kitchen and Sprouted Kitchen

Makes about 8 fritters

Fritter Ingredients

  • 2 small zucchini
  • 2 small white sweet potatoes, peeled
  • 1/2 medium onion, peeled
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • butter and coconut oil for the skillet

Yogurt Sauce Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt (I used 2%)
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • garlic scapes, finely chopped

Method

Coarsely shred the vegetables in a food processor. Toss with the salt, and let sit for 10 minutes before straining through cheesecloth (or paper towels) to squeeze out excess water. Combine the vegetables with the egg, flour, and pepper.

Melt a generous amount of coconut oil and butter in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Scoop about 2 Tablespoons of the mixture for each patty. Press patties flat in the pan and cook about 3 – 4 minutes per side. Drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Keep warm and crisp in a 200 degree oven until ready to serve.

For the yogurt sauce, combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Dollop generously over top the fritters.

Dinner is served

Dinner is served

I took Sara‘s advice and served my fritters with greens on the side and a fried egg on top. It was a perfectly delicious weeknight dinner, and would make a pretty terrific Sunday brunch, too.

Hope you enjoy these as much as I did.

-L

Vegetable Risotto

Bowl of Risotto

Vegetable Risotto

I remember the first time I ever made risotto.  Lindsey and I were visiting our aunt in California, and helped her make risotto for dinner.  At the time, it seemed like a very long, laborious process, but now I really enjoy making it.  I also just love risotto!  It’s creamy and delicious.

This recipe can be made using different vegetables, and would be great with some herbs thrown in.  It should include 1/4 cup of fresh mint.  Unfortunately for me, the herb selection when I went grocery shopping was less than fabulous.   I’m posting what I made, but encourage you to take creative liberties!

Risotto in Bowl

Loved the peas

Vegetable Risotto

Serves 4

  • 5 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 1/2 cups dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cups Arborio rice
  • 1 lb zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 2 cups frozen baby peas
  • 2/3 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Combine the broth and wine in a saucepan over medium heat.  Bring to a simmer, and maintain over low heat.  In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt the butter and 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium heat.  Add the onion and saute until softened, about 4 minutes.  Add the rice and cook, stirring constantly, for about 1 minute, or until all grains are coated.  Add 2 cups of the simmering broth mixture and cook, stirring frequently, until the liquid is absorbed, about 3-4 minutes.  Reduce the heat to medium-low.  Add another cup of broth and cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid is absorbed.  Repeat until all broth has been added.

While the rice is cooking, warm 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat.  Add the zucchini and saute until softened, about 4 minutes.  Stir in the peas, cooking until heated through, about 3 minutes.  Remove from heat.

After about 20-25 minutes, when the rice is tender and creamy but still al dente at the center, stir in the sauteed vegetables.  Cook for 1 minute to heat through.  Stir in the cheese, then season with salt and pepper to taste.

Pot of Risotto

Great big pot of rice!

This was a great, filling recipe.  It makes a sizable batch, so I had plenty of leftovers for lunches.  So convenient!

Have you ever made risotto before?  What is your favorite kind?

Happy Eating!

-C

Vegetable Ragout and Fried Eggs

I feel like I’ve been living in La La Land lately. I’ve been able to dance and work out every day! Somehow, even though my workload has been pretty light, I’ve had a packed schedule. I’m not complaining, but it means I’ve had less time to cook nice meals. The solution to my time constraints? Eggs.

I love eating eggs for dinner. They’re tasty, protein rich, and quick!

Put an egg on it!

Put an egg on it!

Last week, I combined a favorite recipe from Williams-Sonoma, Polenta with Vegetable Ragout, with some nice fried eggs for a wonderful brinner (breakfast for dinner) plate. I wasn’t in the mood for polenta, so I served the vegetable ragout and eggs with a slice of olive bread from the Acme Bread Company.

Brinner: Veggies, eggs, olive bread

Brinner: Veggies, eggs, olive bread

Vegetable Ragout with Fried Eggs

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma

Serves 4

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 zucchini, sliced
  • 3/4 lb mushrooms, trimmed and sliced
  • 1/2 lb Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced
  • 1/4 cup sherry
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 4-8 eggs

In a large frying pan, heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, and saute until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic, zucchini, and mushrooms. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 4-5 minutes, until vegetables are softened. Add the tomatoes, rosemary, sherry, and salt and pepper (about 1/2 teaspoon each). Cook, stirring frequently, until the tomatoes release their juices and soften, about 3-4 minutes.

In a separate frying plan, fry the eggs 1-2 at a time.

Serve the ragout topped with 1-2 eggs and a slice of bread.

Vegetable Ragout

Vegetable Ragout

I could eat this ragout all the time! The vegetables are delicious, and the sherry and rosemary flavors come through really well. I prepared the ragout early in the week, and was able to quickly toss a meal together the rest of the week by cooking up the eggs while reheating the vegetables. So simple!

Close up

Close up

Happy Eating!

-C