Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Frittering Is Good!

I love contributor Jim Dixon's recipes because they're easy, seasonal and oh-so-tasty. He's also a fiend for fritters, the best part being they don't need to be deep-fried! Look for his RealGoodFood booth most Saturdays at the Portland Farmers' Market at PSU filled with his incredible olive oils, vinegars, beans and grains.

I must be slipping. I haven’t included a recipe for fritters for weeks (although the pork balls from earlier are really just meat fritters). I still cook and eat some version of these little fried things (called “subrich” in Piemontese dialect and based on a recipe from Faith Willinger’s Italian vegetable cookbook) at least once weekly. Here are a couple I’ve made recently.

Dandelion Green and Herb Fritters

Drop a bunch of dandelion greens into well-salted boiling water, cook for about 2 minutes, then remove, cool and squeeze out as much water as you can. Chop into small pieces.

Mix with about a cup, maybe more, of fresh herbs. I used what I’ve got in my garden: sage, oregano, rosemary and sorrel. Mint would be good, too. Add a finely chopped spring onion (I have these in the garden; shallot, garlic or plain onion work, about a couple of tablespoons total). Grated Parmigiano Reggiano is good, but not absolutely necessary. Add a little salt.

Mix in a couple of eggs and about a cup of breadcrumbs. The mixture can be a little wet, but should hold together enough to form walnut-sized lumps using two tablespoons. Slide the lumps into reasonably hot olive oil (enough to cover the bottom of your skillet, and they should sizzle a bit). Use the spoon to gently flatten the fritters, let cook undisturbed for a few minutes, then turn. You want them nicely browned. Sprinkle with flor de sal and eat immediately.

Sardine and Potato Fritters

Combine a tin of good sardines (I used olive oil-packed) with a couple of potatoes that you’ve cooked, peeled, and crumbled into a bowl. I used yellow spuds, poked and microwaved for about 4 minutes each. Mix in a couple of cloves of finely chopped garlic and, if you’ve got them, some salt-packed capers that you’ve soaked and rinsed.

Follow the directions above for adding eggs and breadcrumbs; cook the same way, too.

Here's a recipe for Jim's squash fritters. Top photo from

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