Friday, August 12, 2016

Zucchini-Chickpea Fritters with Red Onion Jam

I always seem to have trouble figuring out what meatless meal I’m going to make next. I think I have fewer to choose from in my bookmarked recipes, or sometimes they call for something seasonal and it just doesn’t work out for that week. I did try Sir Ian McKellen’s scrambled eggs; I was intrigued by his method, which is very different from mine. In the end, while I liked his eggs, I think I prefer mine. I also made a ranch quick bread, for which I had really high hopes because it seemed delicious (and I had decorated it with chive blossoms, so it looked great, too). Sadly, I found it bland; slices were better the next day, toasted and buttered. I served it with my mother’s potato and leek soup, with lactose-free cream (her recipe is adapted from Anne Lindsay, though I’ve previously posted a vegan one by David Lebovitz which, it should be said, would look silky-smooth if I were to make it with my immersion blender now).

The dish that I really liked, though, was these zucchini-chickpea fritters with red onion jam. I had a little trouble with the consistency of the fritters, as they fell apart easily, so I recommend adjusting that with extra egg and/or flour, to your liking. I also had a bit of trouble setting the heat on the stovetop – it was electric, and the first batch (pictured) came out a nice golden shade, but subsequent batches were darker even though I kept turning down the heat. This reminded me why so many people think they are inept at cooking – it’s not you, it’s just that you’re not cooking with gas! In any event, what I liked most about this dish was the red onion jam, which was both sweet and acidic, and I ended up wanting to eat it with everything. I served the dish with a non-vegetarian side, though: these roasted root vegetables with bacon and maple syrup.

For the red onion jam
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 large red onion, thinly sliced
kosher salt
1 cup water
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. granulated sugar

For the fritters
1 (15-oz.) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
½ medium yellow onion, finely chopped
3 cups shredded zucchini
½ cup chickpea flour
½ tsp. kosher salt
vegetable oil, for frying

For the red onion jam
In a nonstick pan or heavy skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sprinkle with salt. Stir and cook until tender and translucent, 5 to 7 minutes.

Add the water and cook until the onion is very soft and the water has cooked off, about 10 minutes more. Add the vinegar and sprinkle the onions with the sugar. Stir well and cook for 2 to 3 minutes more, until the vinegar has cooked off completely. Season with salt and set aside.

For the fritters
Preheat the oven to 375 °F.

Pulse the chickpeas in a food processor fitted with the blade attachment until they form a thick paste. Transfer to a large bowl and add the onion and zucchini. Use clean hands to mix well, then form the mixture into 10 cakes; set aside.

Combine the chickpea flour and the salt on a large plate. Gently dredge each cake in the flour, patting it onto all sides of the cake.

Add enough oil to cover the bottom of a large frying pan or skillet and heat over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add 3 or 4 cakes at a time and cook until golden-brown, 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Transfer the cakes to a rimmed baking sheet. Repeat with cooking the remaining cakes, adding more oil to the pan as needed.

When all the cakes are cooked, bake until hot and a deeper golden color, 10 to 15 minutes more. Serve hot with the red onion marmalade.

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