Autumn is my favourite time for eating from the garden; there is such an abundance to choose from. The tomatoes in particular seem to have reached peak sweetness – perhaps it’s the long slow ripening on the vine. It is the reason we keep gardening, as it’s impossible to buy this flavour.
We have harvested all our apples and potatoes and the beetroots are ready for eating. The beans and courgettes keep making a last ditch effort, every time that the sun comes out they decide to have another go, so although we’re no longer picking bucketsful there’s plenty for dinner.
We have the best crop of pumpkins – almost ready – after the glorious summer. Pumpkins don’t like to grow below 18 degrees Celcius and the prolonged heat this year really boosted them along. We’re delighted, as this precious crop will store right through the winter.
The stars of the moment are the cauliflowers, which have appeared like aliens in the brassica patch. All at once! Which means there’s quite some cauliflower eating to be done so it goes without saying that this month’s recipe is with cauliflower.
I’ve combined the cauliflowers with pumpkin so it could also be a Halloween recipe.
The measurement for the pumpkin and cauliflower are guidelines as obviously cauliflowers don’t grow in half kilo units. They do not have to be exactly 500g, just roughly equal amounts of each. The amount of eggs also depends on the size so use two large eggs or three smaller ones.
I used salted ricotta for these fritters. Pecorino and Parmesan would also be good substitutes and who knows, maybe cheddar would work too but I have not tried this variation.
Cauliflower and Pumpkin fritters
• 500g pumpkin
• 500g cauliflower
• 2-3 eggs – lightly beaten
• 200g salted ricotta – grated
• a large handful of parsley finely chopped
• salt and pepper
• oil for frying
Put a large pot of salted water to boil.
Peel the pumpkin and remove any seeds then chop into equal sized pieces of roughly 2cm each.
Wash the cauliflower well then cut into florets.
When the water is boiling, add the pumpkin; as soon as the water returns to the boil turn the heat to medium/low because if the pumpkin is belting around in the pot the pumpkin will become fluffy. Cook for 10-15 minutes, until a knife will enter without resistance. Lift the pumpkin from the water then leave to drain in a colander.
Return the pot to the heat and add the cauliflower, cook for 4-5 minutes, just enough to take the edge off the rawness. Drain into a colander and give it a good shake to remove excess water.
Gently mash the pumpkin and season with salt and pepper.
Put the cauliflower florets onto a chopping board and chop to small pieces paying particular attention to the stalks.
Put the pumpkin and cauliflower into a large bowl together with the beaten eggs and grated cheese and mix together with your hands.
Give the mix a good squish and it will hold together. Form the mix into golf ball sized pieces.
Heat a large frying pan and add enough oil to cover the bottom. Gently flatten the fritters and fry on a medium heat, flipping half way until golden on both sides.
These are best served with some kind of sauce/salsa. We ate ours with chopped tomatoes, olive oil and balsamic but when the tomatoes are gone we’ll move onto avocado salsa, yoghurt sauce or mayo.
Lettercollum Kitchen Project
22, Connolly Street.