Herby ricotta fritters?
Ok, I wasn’t sure what to call these: ricotta fritters, ricotta hotcakes, ricotta pancakes but then I decided it didn’t really mattered what the hell they were called. All I want you to know is that they are delicious, after that you can call them what you want.
Ricotta fritters: staple ingredients kind of meal
Ricotta is a staple in my house because it’s pretty forgiving. I tend to buy it with great intentions but then totally forget about it. And you know what? It doesn’t really matter because provided you haven’t opened the tub, it keeps pretty well. So it’s there like an old friend when I run out of inspiration or food.
You can make tons of stuff with ricotta and the Italians are of course masters at using it. There are countless sweet cakes you can craft as it lends itself beautifully to lemon, berries but also rhubarb and more. A friend gave me the recipe for the most amazing ricotta tart; it is TO DIE FOR, although I’d have to ask her before sharing…
Anyway, back to my ricotta fritters. They are extremely easy to make and a good option when you’re low on supply because all you need is a few cupboard ingredients plus a bit of imagination. I use greens and herbs but don’t feel too constricted by that, feel free to improvise with what you have in your fridge.
Ricotta fritters: the nutritional lowdown
These little ricotta fritters are also great for vegetarians as they contain a non-negligible amount of protein: 11g per 100g – not quite steak but with the addition of the egg and parmesan we’re starting to get somewhere.
Ricotta is also quite low in fat compared to other cheeses, which is why I often recommend it to my clients who are trying to reintroduce dairy back in their diets. Small steps in the right direction are, in my humble opinion, always better than standing still because the step is too high.
Those little ricotta fritters are great for a light lunch and what you end up with are soft little pillows of goodness bursting with flavours.
- 250g ricotta
- 200g greens – sometimes use spinach only, sometimes courgettes, sometimes I mix them up
- 40g plain flour
- 1 egg
- 20g parmesan
- ¼ heaped tsp. baking powder
- ¼ tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. lemon zest
- 1 clove of garlic
- 3 or 4 gratings of nutmeg
- A handful of fresh herbs – here I used marjoram and oregano
If you’re using spinach, wilt it first, then squeeze all its water out and chopped it in small pieces. If you’re using courgettes, grate them and place them in a sieve with a bit of salt of half an hour or so, then squeeze the water out. You basically want as little water as possible.
Grate the lemon, garlic, parmesan and nutmeg in a large bowl; add the salt and a good pinch of black pepper. Crack the egg in the bowl, add the ricotta and beat with a fork. Finally sift in the flour and baking powder, throw in the chopped herbs and mix well.
All you have to do now is heat up a tbsp. of olive oil in a frying pan and dollop four or five fritters in. I tend to do several batches, as it’s easier. Cook on one side until the edges have brown. Then flip onto the other side and cook for a further 3 or 4 min.
I like to serve mine with a salad and either a homemade tomato sauce or a lemony yoghurt dip laced with parsley and chilli.