So I decided to go where I have never ventured before, and that was to serve my husband and son a vegetarian meal! I am so keen to do a meat free meal once a week. I think it will save money, widen our horizons, push my creativity to get interesting with vegetables and for our overall health. I did this meal from my Jamie book but I didn’t do his salad, I created one of my own which was really delicious, fresh and sweet! The ricotta fritters were tasty! I used a blob of yoghurt and 2 eggs to moisten the fritters batter a little because the type of ricotta cheese that I used was a bit dry. So try to find a brand (Woolworths has a good one) that sells a moist ricotta. My 15 year old son suggested that I should do some chicken with it next time (boys hey?) but my husband and friend who joined us really enjoyed it. I will make it again!
For the Sauce:
25g dried porcini mushrooms
4 Anchovy fillets (optional)
1 dried red chilli
2 cloves of garlic
8 black olives / Calmata olives (stone in)
½ a bunch of fresh basil
For the Fritters:
1 large egg (or 2 medium eggs)
400g ricotta cheese
1 whole nutmeg, for grating (or 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg)
40g Parmesan cheese
1 heaped tbsp flour
For the veggie salad:
3 small peppers (orange, red and yellow)
6 baby marrows
A small bunch of asparagus
Olive oil, salt and pepper
1 tsp BBQ spice
For the Yoghurt dressing:
3 Tbsp plain yoghurt
10ml Dijon mustard
1 handful fresh mint, finely chopped
A squeeze of fresh lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
- Put the porcini mushrooms in a mug and cover with boiling water.
- Crack the egg into a mixing bowl, add the ricotta, finely grate in ¼ of the nutmeg (or add the ground nutmeg) and the zest of the lemon. Add the parmesan and flour and then beat together.
- Put 1 tbsp of olive oil into the frying pan, then use a tablespoon to spoon in 8 large dollops of the mixture, turning carefully when nicely golden.
- Put the anchovies (if using) and 1 tablespoon of olive oil into the casserole pan, crumble in the dried chilli, and squash in the unpeeled garlic through a garlic crusher.
- Finely chop and add the porcini with half of their soaking water and the passata. Season with salt (remember that anchovies are naturally salty) and pepper and bring to the boil.
- Squash and add the olives, discarding the stones.
- Pick and reserve a few basil leaves, then chop the rest and add to the sauce.
- Let that simmer for a few minutes.
- **I found that I had to add about a tablespoon of Xylitol (to keep the calories down) to the sauce, but you can add some sugar if you like to offset the bitterness of the tomatoes.**
- Meanwhile, chop up your vegetables and put them into a mixing bowl, drizzle with a little olive oil and salt and pepper and BBQ spice and rub all of that into the veggies. Then in batches, put into a hot griddle pan until tender (but not soft!). Set aside and continue until all your veggies are done.
- Place the veggies into a serving dish or platter to cool slightly.
- Mix all the yoghurt dressing ingredients together and put ‘blobs’ of the dressing over the veggies.
- Place the fritters on top of the sauce, then scatter over the reserved basil leaves. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar (this makes a BIG difference!) and serve with lemon wedges and the Vegetable salad.
Ricotta Fritters and Sauce Recipe by Jamie Oliver
The Veggie salad recipe is mine.