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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Watercress Soup

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Watercress Soup

 

This delicious soup has always been a winner in our household, whether it is served as an Amuse-bouche, a simple starter or as a hearty bowl for lunch or supper. The method of making this soup is easy as can be and is based on a recipe for lettuce soup, which I found in a Sainsbury’s Easy Meals For One & Two by Anne Page-Wood many moons ago. In fact I still use up old ends of lettuces and greens to make a soup using this recipe when I’m clearing out the fridge. Just substitute the watercress with any greens you have in store.

Watercress Soup

Prep time 50mins – 1 hr (including cooking)

Serves 4 hearty bowls plus a little extra

Ingredients

1 large onion

5 medium potatoes

2oz Butter

2 bags Watercress (85 grams or approx 3oz per bag)

1 litre of Chicken Stock

Ground  Nutmeg

Lemon or lime juice

Seasoning

Method

  1. Peel and chop onion and then peel and cube potatoes into small squares.
  2. Melt the butter in a large casserole pot on top of the hob and then add the onion and potatoes. Move the potatoes and onions around for a moment until they are coated in the butter.
  3. Add the watercress to the pot with a little seasoning and then put the lid on top. Keep on a low light for 5-10 mins until the watercress is wilted.
  4. When the watercress is wilted give the ingredients a stir and then add the Chicken Stock. Put the lid back on and leave to simmer slowly until the potatoes are soft, which will take up to  25-30 mins.
  5. When the potatoes are cooked through, either leave the soup to cool slightly and then pour in a blender, or use a hand blender directly in the pan to ensure any lumps of vegetables are completely pureed.
  6. Once the soup is blended add a teaspoon of ground nutmeg and squeeze in the Juice of half a lemon. Stir and then taste for seasoning. Add salt and pepper (I prefer white pepper for this recipe) as required and taste again. If you wish to add more nutmeg and lemon juice  then do this a little at a time until you feel as though the flavour of the watercress has been enhanced to the required taste.

This soup will last up to a couple of days in the fridge and also freezes well.