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5-Ingredient Carrot and Feta Fritters

I’m of the opinion that fritters are really quite good at capturing the tail end of summer and the very beginnings of autumn. They’re best served with fresh, crunchy salad, but are themselves shallow fried, edging us in to the comfort of stodgier treats to come.

Plus, they’re orange.

Anything that practically brings itself together and has an ingredients list I can count on one hand is always alright by me, and this ticks both of those boxes. You can whip up a quick salad while the fritters are frying and have the whole shebang on the table in 15-20 minutes, if you’re inclined towards speedier kitchen habits.

If I could give you two tips, they’d be the following:

  • Serve the fritters with sweet chilli sauce, or a spicy chutney, anything sweet and dippable, it brings everything together beautifully.
  • When clearing up afterwards, pour excess oil into a container for recycling (this is a thing) and then mop up the very last dregs with kitchen towel before attempting to wash up, to avoid greasy slicks in the sink that take 3-5 business days to disappear

Makes 6 fritters

2-3 medium sized carrots, coarsely grated
1 block feta, crumbled
3 cloves garlic, grated/minced
2 tbsps plain flour
2 large eggs, beaten
(dried mint or parsley are welcome but non-essential)

  1. Put all ingredients into a mixing bowl and stir to fully combine.
  2. Heat 1cm of oil (vegetable, rapeseed and sunflower are all fine, olive oil is not recommended due to smoke point but I’m sure you can get away with it in an emergency) in a heavy based or non-stick frying pan.
  3. Divide the batter into roughly six gently flattened mounds and add to the pan.
  4. Fry until golden brown on the underside (around 4-5 minutes or so but keep a close eye) then flip and fry for a few minutes longer.
  5. Remove from the pan onto kitchen towel to soak up excess oil.
  6. Serve hot with sweet chilli sauce.

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Vegetarian Cooking Broth for Dumplings

All the most delicious dumpling and noodle broths call for animal fat or fish seasoning of some kind to boost their flavour. In my current state as a midweek vegetarian – and cooking for a boy who requires a stab to the thigh with an epi pen at even the mention of a prawn –  neither were options.

However, I happened upon frozen Itsu Vegetable Gyoza in the ready meal freezer at ASDA yesterday, so desperately wanted to knock something up to serve them in, and this was more than sufficient.

Makes enough for 1 300g pack frozen dumplings

1.5 litres vegetable stock (I used bouillon powder)
1 red chilli
1 large chunk ginger
3-5 cloves garlic
soy sauce
pinch sugar

  1. Chop chilli finely, grate ginger and garlic coarsely.
  2. Heat 1-2 tbsps oil in a pan (the more neutral the better aka sunflower or groundnut, but if you’ve only got olive it’s not the end of the world) and cook the chilli, garlic and ginger until beginning to brown.
  3. Pour in stock, add soy sauce (to taste) and sugar.
  4. If you’ve got anything else knocking about in your store cupboard that you think it might like, chuck it in – I added a glug of chilli oil and some sweeter, stickier dipping sauce (provided in the dumplings packet) to give it some extra depth.
  5. Leave to simmer for at least half an hour to let the flavours develop, then add the frozen dumplings and cook according to pack instructions (the ones I was using were to be boiled for 3 minutes).
  6. Serve.

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Baked BBQ Aubergine

There’s no direct replacement for meat come BBQ season, I myself am preparing to cave on the mostly-plant-based front as soon as it’s sunny enough to take hot coals down to the beach and smoke out anyone in a 5 metre radius. There are, however, several worthy alternatives. Aubergine is one of them.

It’s a naturally smoky vegetable, and one that gratefully absorbs any flavour you introduce it to – making it particularly susceptible to a good BBQ rub. I was in the mood for a fancy one (feel free to recommend if you have a fav) but ASDA had only the Nando’s Peri Peri BBQ rub to offer, which did me just fine.

Score as deeply as possible without cutting through the flesh for best results, and remember that aubergine’s a bastard for absorbing oil – so you’ll need more than you’d need for any other vegetable you’re used to baking in this way.

For each salad-y thing you can see pictured in the featured image, I’ve included brief instructions and method after the main recipe.

Baked BBQ Aubergine

1 aubergine
2 tbsps BBQ spice rub
4-5 tbsps olive oil

  1. Cut aubergine in half lengthways and score deeply.
  2. Rub each half with 1 tbsp BBQ spice rub. Then pour 1 tbsp olive oil over each half, gently rubbing both oil and spice into the scored grooves.
  3. Put in the oven at 180C degrees fan (200C, Gas 6) for 30-40 mins until the flesh is soft. You’ll probably need to drizzle with extra oil half way through cooking if it starts to look as though it’s drying out.

Honey, Mustard, Fennel and Garlic Potato Salad

Chop 1 bulb fennel finely and fry in butter with a few cloves of sliced garlic. Add cooked new potatoes, 1 tbsp honey and 1 tbsp mustard. Continue to cook until potatoes get a little sticky.

Quick Pickled Red Onions

Cover chopped red onions in salt and sugar, then pour over red wine vinegar. Set aside until finished cooking, drain and serve.

Dill Slaw

Add mayonnaise, salt and pepper to grated carrot and finely sliced red cabbage, as well as a few fronds of dill.

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