Zucchini, mint and corn fritters – farewell to summer

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“Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.”  Henry James

It’s officially the first day of autumn in our part of the world. We love autumn and the beginning of a different season, but we’re not quite ready to let glorious, long summer afternoons go yet. It still feels summery to us and summer fruits and vegetables are still what we feel like eating. These light and delicate fritters, full of zucchini, pops of sweet corn, mint fresh from the garden, and spicy, green chilli in every mouthful, fit the bill very nicely for lunch today. All too soon the evenings will close in early and the morning chill will make getting out of bed a challenge, but for now we cherish the remaining summer days and the last produce of the season. 

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Serves 4

375 g zucchini (about 2 medium-sized)
2/3 cup self-raising flour (if you want to make a gluten free version, just substitute gluten free flour)
2/3 cup polenta
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
2 tablespoons melted butter
4 cobs fresh corn
200 g firm feta cheese
1/2 cup finely sliced fresh mint
1 long green chilli, very finely diced
olive oil, for shallow frying
sea salt
1 punnet cherry tomatoes
extra fresh mint
200g creme fraiche

Grate the zucchini and place in a colander. Sprinkle with salt and leave for about 20 minutes for the juices to drain away. Meanwhile, in a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, polenta, eggs, milk and melted butter to make a smooth batter. Finely dice 150 g of the feta cheese. Using a sharp knife, carefully cut the kernels away from the corn cobs. Add the corn, chilli, mint and the diced feta to the batter and combine. Squeeze as much liquid as possible from the zucchini and mix into the batter. In a large frying pan heat a small amount of oil. Drop tablespoonfuls of the mixture into the pan and cook until golden brown on the underside. Carefully turn over and when fully cooked, take out of the pan, drain on absorbent paper and keep warm while you cook the other fritters. Serve with the tomatoes and creme fraiche after sprinkling the fritters with the remaining feta and mint.

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