It was one of my resolutions this year to try and eat more locally sourced, seasonal produce. This mostly means vegetables as B and I barely eat meat nowadays and only really when we visit friends and family. The thinking behind these goals was both environmental and economical - buying produce which is out of season is costly and often requires long distance shipping. There were discussions about getting seasonal veg boxes delivered but then we lucked out with our allotment and we are now naturally eating what is in season and is locally grown!
Two of our favourite food writers - Hugh Furnly-Wurnly (as he is known in our household - to everyone else he is Hugh Fernley-Whittingstall) and Nigel Slater - have long championed fresh, seasonal, locally sourced produce and, as a result, their books are filled with delicious recipes categorised by season. Nigel Slater's The Kitchen Diaries has rapidly become my all-time favourite recipe book - if you can really call it that. There are recipes in it (by the fistful) but it is also a journal in the traditional sense, chronicling Mr Slater's day-to-day encounters with food. It is absolutely delightful to read and this recipe, from the July section was absolutely perfect for us to make use of the two things we have a glut of in the allotment currently: courgettes (zuccini) and dill! You can read my recent post about the benefits and other culinary uses of dill here, but this recipe is a great starting point.
You will need:
* 3 large courgettes (about 500 grams)
* 4 spring onions (or a medium onion)
* Olive oil
* 1 clove garlic
* 3 tbsp plain flour
* 1 large egg
* 100 g feta cheese
* A small bunch of dill (chopped)
* Salt and black pepper to season
Grate the courgette into a colander, sprinkle lightly with salt and allow to drain over the sink for around 30 minutes (you could do this into a tea towel and squeeze the water out if you are in a rush).
Chop the onions finely and warm them gently with a little oil in a pan. Add the garlic and courgette to the pan. When all is soft and turning a pale golden colour, add the flour and continue cooking for a couple of minutes, stirring occasionally. Beat the egg lightly and stir into the onion mixture, then crumble in the feta and chopped dill. Season to taste.
Finally, heat three tablespoons of oil in a shallow pan and drop heaped tablespoons of the mixture into the hot oil to cook. When golden on one side, turn over gently (they are pretty delicate so you will to be careful!). Lift the cakes out and drain on some kitchen paper. Serve as you wish...
We had ours with some home-made tzatziki and chunky potato wedges - also home-grown. Very satisfying!