I am infatuated with Nigel Slater's book Tender: A Cook and His Vegetable Patch. It is one of those book that I keep next to my bed that I can find recipes for the freshest vegetables in my fridge and so that I can daydream about what to make with the veggies that have just sprouted in my window. The chapters are set up by vegetable and prefaced by how Nigel likes to grow them, his favorite seed varieties and tips about harvesting, flavor complements and more. I first flipped through this book last October on an adventure in California and I gushed about it then and unwrapped my own copy for Christmas. The recipes are particularly fun because they have a really loose style. Use a large handful or so of this, a pinch of that, a bushy stalk of rosemary. No need to measure all that closely as long as it smells and tastes delicious, just go with it. These fitters start like your basic vegetable fritter or latke, but with cheese, lots of herbs and of course carrots instead of potatoes they are particularly divine. Beware if you make them home alone, you might be tempted to eat them all, like I did.
Carrot and Cilantro Fritters adapted from Nigel Slater's Tender
Makes: 8 to 12, enough for 2 to 3 people
About 6 large carrots (or 11 ounces)
Half of an onion, peeled
A glove of garlic, crushed
An egg, beaten
3 heaping tablespoon of cheese, a good sharp cheddar or Parmesan
Cilantro leaves, a handful, coarsely chopped
A few green onions, thinly sliced
A heaping tablespoon of all purpose flour
Coarse black pepper and sea salt
Olive oil for shallow frying
1. Grate the carrots by hand into a large bowl. Or push them through a food processor fitted with a grater attachment and then transfer then to a large bowl.
2. Finely slice or grate in and stir into the carrots with the garlic, beaten egg, grated cheese, cilantro, green onions, flour and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
3. Warm a shallow layer of olive oil in a nonstick frying pan. Drop large spoonfuls of the mixture into the pan, a coupe at a time, and fry until lightly cooked on the bottom. Turn with a spatula and let the other side color. They should take three or four minutes per side.
4. The fritters are ready as soon as they are dark gold. Remove to a warm plate covered with a paper towel to remove any oil. Eat immediately.