Beetroot is in season! Hurrah! Right, hands up if for some reason you have a deep, abiding suspicion of this glorious fuchsia vegetable? I'll admit, I was once one of you. But then I tried beetroot combined with orange and feta and I SAW THE LIGHT.
I'm calling these things 'fritters' to appeal to my sense of daintiness, but really, they're practically beetroot BURGERS. They can stand up for themselves in a sea of meat, they can stride above the salad accompaniments, take a good dollop of relish and still come out fighting. All this with the virtue that comes from knowing that they are also suitable for gluten free and low lactose diets - feta made from goat's or sheep's milk doesn't usually cause issues for those with lactose intolerance, it has a much lower lactose content. If you're serving them up for someone with a severe allergy, make sure you double check what they can and can't eat.
Orange zest complements the deep, earthy flavours, whilst a good smattering of salty feta keeps things interesting. Now, time to give that grater a workout...
Beetroot & Feta Fritters (Makes 12)
You will need:
- 2 large carrots, peeled
- 2 raw beetroots, peeled
- 3 spring onions
- 200g feta cheese (check the back to make sure it's not produced using cow's milk)
- zest of 1 orange
- 2 medium free-range eggs
- 3 heaped tbsp gram flour (chickpea flour)
- Sea salt
- Black pepper
- Olive oil
- Coarsely grate the carrots and the beetroot, placing together in a large bowl.
- Finely chop the spring onions and add to the mixture.
- Dice or crumble the feta into the mix, along with the zest of the orange and stir lightly to combine.
- In a separate bowl, beat the eggs, then add to the mixture along with the gram flour, a good pinch of salt and lots of fresh black pepper.
- Still well to combine. If it's looking too wet, add a little more flour.
- Time to get messy: shape and squeeze the mixture into 12 equal size balls and set aside on a floured surface.
- Pour a glug of olive oil into a large frying pan and set over a medium heat.
- Fry for 3-4 minutes, flattening with a spatula and turning twice whilst cooking, until the edges are crisp and the surface browned.
- Season and serve immediately with salad and more feta, relish, in place of felafel or even, I've been informed, on top of another burger...