Saturday, June 29, 2013

Fried Squash and Nasturtium Patties

I thought it would be fun to include a common flower in this recipe for my fellow gardeners out there. Nasturtiums are super easy to grow, even from seed, and you can easily find them in yellow, orange or red. 

Here in the hotter parts of California and other southern states though, be careful when you read the label, "full sun"- it doesn't really apply here. They need plenty of sun of course, but morning sun is better. All of my nasturtiums that get too much harsh afternoon sun are looking pretty haggard.
This recipe is of course super similar to the zucchini patties that I've made before, except that this batter is more of a dough than a batter. The others are really more like zucchini pancakes, but when you stir up this batter you should have more of a thick cookie dough or meatball mix consistency. 

They're so yummy.

3 small tender squashes, grated.  I used one small crookneck, 1 small patty pan and 1 small zucchini (because that's what was ready in my garden).
5-6 large fresh nasturtium leaves, chopped fine
several nasturtium flowers,petals removed
1/4 cup fresh chives, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped fine
1/4 cup fresh flat parsley, chopped fine
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt (or more to taste, I didn't really measure)
1 egg
1/3 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup crumbled feta or other sharp or tangy cheese
2-4 tablespoons of olive oil for frying

After you grate up or food process your little squashes, you have to pick the pile up and squeeze out as much moisture as you can. This is very important, they taste watery and bland and don't cook right if you skip this step. Put it all in a bowl with the other ingredients. 

You really need to use wheat flour instead of regular, it absorbs more moisture and has a nice nutty flavor. After you stir it all up really well, you should have a fairly stiff sticky dough. 

In a non-stick pan, heat up about 2 tablespoons of olive oil on med-high heat. Take about a small ice cream scoop of dough (a scant 1/4 cup?) at a time and make a very flat patty with your hands and fry them in the olive oil for 3 minutes per side. Make sure they are nice and flat, in fact when you flip them you can squish them down a bit with your spatula to make sure. You should get about 8-10 of them.

Serve them garnished with your beautiful nasturtium petals, a sour cream or yogurt based sauce on top, and a nice cold glass of Sauvignon Blanc on the side.

The sauce I made was just a big glob of full-fat sour cream mixed with a splash of red wine vinegar and a half teaspoon of harissa paste. You could also use a teaspoon of sun dried tomato pesto or basil pesto mixed if harissa is too spicy.