Courgette and Potato Cakes with Mint and Feta Cheese
These quite brilliant little courgette cakes used to have to be fried, which is tiresome when you have much to prepare for a party. However, we have tried baking them in the oven, which works a treat.
Serves 12 (makes 16 cakes – one per person, plus a few extra)
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This recipe is taken from How to Cook Book Three and Delia's Vegetarian Collection.
First you need to grate the courgettes coarsely – a food processor is good for this – and put them into a colander. Then sprinkle them with 2 level teaspoons of salt to draw out some of their excess moisture and leave them to drain for about an hour, with a plate or bowl underneath to catch the juices.
Meanwhile, scrub the potatoes and place them in a very large saucepan, with a little salt. Pour just enough boiling water over them to cover them, then simmer gently with a lid on for 8 minutes to parboil them. After that, drain them and leave them aside until they’re cool enough to handle. Then peel them and, using the coarse side of a grater, grate them into a large bowl and season with more salt and some freshly milled black pepper.
When the hour is up, rinse the courgettes under cold, running water, squeeze out as much moisture as possible with your hands, then spread them out on a clean tea cloth and roll it up to wring out every last drop – this is very important, so the cakes are not wet.
Now, add the courgettes to the grated potatoes, along with the spring onions, mint, Feta and beaten eggs and, using two forks, lightly toss it all together.
Next, divide the mixture into 16 and shape into rounds about ½ inch (1 cm) thick, pressing them firmly together to form little cakes. They don’t have to be very neat – it’s nice to have a few jagged edges. Then lightly dust the cakes with the flour.
To cook them, first pre-heat the oven to gas mark 7, 425°F (220°C) and also pre-heat the baking trays.
Meanwhile, melt the butter and oil in a small saucepan, then brush the cakes on both sides with it. When the oven is up to heat, place the cakes on the trays, returning one to the top shelf and the other to the middle shelf for 15 minutes.
After that, carefully turn the cakes over, using a palette knife and a fork, swap the positions of the trays in the oven and cook them for a further 10-15 minutes.
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This makes a filling and enjoyable meal for 4 from a few cheap ingredients - even more so if you grow your own courgettes and have a glut to use up. Add fresh herbs, eggs and parmesan-style cheese for a wonderful vegetarian recipe.
This is a very quick and easy vegetarian supper dish for two people, especially good if you grow your own tomatoes and courgettes and have a glut to use up. You could also serve it as a starter for four people.
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