Gluten Free Ricotta Fritters with Raw Zucchini Salad June 01 2014

I am enjoying cooking with ricotta at the moment after discovering really well priced fresh ricotta at my local market (EQ Village Markets in Sydney). 

Ricotta is a smooth cheese with a creamy mild taste and a thick texture. Its light flavour and low salt content make it perfect for using in sweet or savoury dishes. A great source of calcium and magnesium, ricotta is the ideal cheese for people watching their weight - its fat content of around 10 per cent is quite low compared to the 34 per cent in regular cheeses.

This recipe is inspired by a Jamie Oliver dish which I have made gluten free. The raw zucchini salad is such a healthy and fresh side dish.

Ingredients:

For the fritters

1 large free-range or organic egg

400g ricotta cheese

whole nutmeg for grating (you will only need 1/4 of the nutmeg)

zest of 1 lemon

40g grated parmesan cheese

1 heaped tablespoon coconut flour

olive or coconut oil

balsamic glaze

For the sauce

25g dried porcini mushrooms

1 dried red chilli

2 cloves of garlic

700g passata

8 black olives (stone in)

1/2 a bunch of fresh basil

olive or coconut oil

For the salad

400g firm green small courgettes

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 fresh red chilli

1/2 a bunch of fresh mint

juice of 1 lemon

Method

Put the porcini into a mug and cover with boiling water (just enough water to cover the porcini). Leave to soak for approximately 20 minutes.

Fritters - Crack the egg into a bowl, add the ricotta and mix well. Add finely grated ¼ of the nutmeg, zest of 1 lemon, parmesan, coconut flour and beat together. Put mixture to the side while you prepare the salad and sauce. 

Salad - Grate the courgettes in a food processor (you can also use a box grater). Tip into a bowl and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Add juice of the zested lemon along with the extra virgin olive oil. Finely chop and add the fresh chilli, mint leaves and then toss together. 

Sauce - Heat 1 tablespoon of olive or coconut oil into a large non stick fry pan. Crumble in the dried chilli, 2 cloves of crushed garlic and cook for 1 minute. Finely chop and add the porcini along with half of the water used to soak them. Add the passata, season with salt and pepper and bring to the boil. Chop and add the olives, discarding the stones. Chop or tear basil and add to the sauce (leave a few leaves to garnish the dish). Leave on a low heat (simmering) while you cook the fritters.

To cook the fritters, heat 1 tablespoon of olive or coconut oil into a frying pan. Use a tablespoon to spoon in 8 large dollops of the mixture. Make sure there is enough room around the fritters to flip (make 2 batches if your pan is not large enough). Cook for approximately 1 minute or until bubbles appear on the surface. Turn fritters carefully to cook the other side. The fritters should appear nice and golden. 

To serve, place the fritters on top of the sauce. Scatter over the reserved basil leaves and drizzle with balsamic glaze. Serve with salad.

Serves 4.