Ricotta fritters with tomato sauce & courgette salad

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Ricotta fritters with tomato sauce & courgette salad

This tasty dish went down a treat when my son’s vegetarian girlfriend came to stay and it was also enjoyed by the rest of my carnivorous family. The recipe is taken from Jamie Oliver’s 15 Minute Meals and I would definitely cook it again.  The ricotta fritters were light and delicate and worked well when combined with the spicy tomato sauce and courgette salad. It is relatively easy to make as long as you do not disturb the fritters too much whilst they are cooking. A lovely little supper dish for a summers evening, although I dare say it would be well received whatever the time of year it is.

Ricotta fritters with tomato sauce and courgette salad

Prep 15 mins – although took me nearly 25mins to prep and cook

Serves 4

Ingredients

For the sauce

  • 25 g dried porcini mushrooms
  • 4 anchovy fillets
  • 1 dried red chilli
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 700g passata
  • 8 black olives (stone in)
  • ½ a bunch of fresh basil

For the fritters

  • 1 large free-range egg
  • 400 g ricotta cheese
  • 1 whole nutmeg for grating
  • 1 lemon
  • 40 g Parmesan cheese
  • 1 heaped tablespoon plain flour
  • olive oil
  • balsamic vinegar

For the salad

  • 400 g firm green or yellow baby courgettes
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 fresh red chilli
  • ½ a bunch of fresh mint
  • 1 lemon

Method

1. Cover the porcini with boiling water and leave to soak.
2. In a bow,  mix the ricotta with egg, finely grated 1/4 of nutmeg, lemon zest, parmesan and flour and then beat together.
3.Add a tablespoon of olive oil to a frying pan and then dollop 8 tablespoons of the mixture in to the pan. Turn carefully with a spatula when the bottom is golden and as I mentioned previously try not to move the fritters around too much.
4. Add chilli,  anchovies and garlic to a frying pan with a splash of olive oil. Then add passata and finely chopped porcini with half the soaking water. Season and bring to the boil.
5. Add stoned squashed olives (squashing helps remove the stone) and then add the chopped basil leaves, but don’t forget to keep some to use as garnish later.
6. Using a food processor grate the courgette. Add to a bowl with seasoning, lemon juice and olive oil. Then add finely chopped chilli and some mint from the top half of the bunch. Mix the salad together gently with your hands.

7. Place the fritters in the sauce in a serving dish or if you wish to be more rustic in the pan the sauce was cooked in. Garnish with the rest of the basil leaves, some balsamic and a few lemon wedges on the side.

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Spring Tasting at Trencherman’s of Dorset April 2015

imageI’ve been visiting Trencherman’s of Dorset for many years and have always come away with something delicious to eat or cook. Their wine selection is also an important part of their business and they are one of the larger independent wine merchants in the area. They buy the majority of the wines direct from small producers, so their wines are very competitive.

So when the opportunity arose to attend one of their famous Tasting Events my husband and I couldn’t resist popping along with a couple of friends. These events are always a sociable occasion and Steve Goodden, Ethne Waltham and the team are always on hand to welcome you and offer advice on anything, from stocking wine cellars to planning parties.

The evening didn’t disappoint, as we were delighted to discover a delicious array of food and wine to tickle our taste buds. We worked our way through the food tasting area, and tasted sumptuous Spanish Gordal Green Olives flavoured with extra virgin olive oil, fleur de sel and freshly ground pepper. All I needed was a glass of Rosé, and I could really begin to imagine myself sitting under the Mediterranean sunshine….bliss! We then moved on to try delicious Normandy Ham, Salted Bacalao mixed with potato, garlic, oil and cream served as a canapé on toast and a surprisingly light and fluffy Spanish Pork Scratching. We also discovered a new Toast for Cheese biscuit produced by the The Fine Cheese Company in Bath. This toast biscuit was flavoured with apricots, pistachios and sunflower seeds and was absolute heaven when accompanied with delicious melting Brie.

Equally the wine selection did not disappoint. Vin Mousseux Pierre de Chanvigné Rosé Brut Excellence, was not only wonderfully fragrant, dry and crisp but it is a fine mousse at a great price. We shall definitely be ordering a case for the summer evenings.

The wine selection was plentiful but my favourite white for price and taste was Château la Bastide Corbieres blanc. Favourite reds included the lovely smooth and rounded Passitivo di Puglia, the tremendous Beaujolais from Laurent Guillet which was packed with cherries and finally the Miguel Merino Rioja Reserve 2005. This wine is rich, complex and has a long finish; a wine to be savoured rather than quaffed!

A quick meander around the shop resulted in a small haul of goodies including Pigeon Breasts, Spanish Pork Scratchings, a packet of ‘Toast for Cheese’ and a large slab of Brie. My pal bought delicious duck breasts and some scrummy chocolate bites to have with coffee when she got home. My husband and I opted for a more indulgent repaste and opened a bottle of red on our arrival back at base to accompany the Brie and Toast I had purchased which was a fitting end to an extremely enjoyable evening.

Well done to all at Trencherman’s of Dorset

Next Event – Summer Wine Tasting, Saturday 4th & Sunday 5th July. Check their website for details. http://www.trenchermans.com