Zucchini Cakes with Basil and Feta

zuchinni basil feta cakesI have a confession to make – I don’t like zucchini (please don’t tell my children this). Bland, tasteless and usually soggy, it’s only the second vegetable I’ve met that I haven’t loved (Jerusalem artichokes being the first). So it was with great relief to read Mr Wilkinsons Favourite Vegetables and discover that he (Matt Wilkinson) didn’t love zucchini either, that is until he learnt to salt them first. Slice or grate your zucchini into a colander and sprinkle with salt. Leave for a few minutes or more, rinse off and pat or squeeze dry and cook (or raw is lovely too). Glory be – we are all saved from watery zucchini. Do I love it now? Let’s say it’s gone up in my estimation (especially in these little cakes which I adore).

The recipe I’m sharing today is from Nigel Slater’s Kitchen Diaries. I hope you are not put off by all the previous zucchini fritter recipes you’ve tried that have been either boring, bland or gooey, because these are fab. This recipe is a bit more effort than easy peasy (though nowhere near tricky). The extra effort made up for by the fact it uses heaps of zucchini – hurrah for Nigel!

For about 12 cakes

6 large zucchini (not as large as a marrow, but large enough that they have surpassed the perfect small ones that are best for frying fresh)
2 Onions
Garlic (as you wish)
6 tablespoons of rice flour (or wheat flour as per the original recipe)
2 large eggs
200g feta
Basil or Dill (Nigel says dill, I prefer basil), or indeed whatever herb tickles you

Make the batter

Grate the zucchini into a colander, sprinkle lightly with salt and leave for 30 minutes in the sink.
Chop the onions finely and slowly cook in a frypan over a medium heat in olive oil until they soften.
Lightly wring the zucchini out in a teatowel (isn’t it amazing how much juice comes out!)
Mix the garlic and zucchini into the onion and cook for a few minutes until soft and starting to change colour.
Stir in the flour and cook for a couple of minutes with the occasional stir.
Beat the eggs lightly and stir in. Crumble in the feta, add herbs, black pepper and salt to taste. Remove from the heat.

To cook

Heat 4 tablespoons of oil in a shallow pan and drop in generous tablespoons of the mix. Leave to cook–ie don’t press with the spatula or obsessively fidget with the fritter, until the underside is crispy golden. Turn carefully (they are fragile) and cook the other side.

Keep the oil topped up, and heated up before new cakes go in the pan.


  1. Rosemary Neilson says

    Or try this super-quick zucchini salad, Kath:

    Us a potato peeler to slice long, thin strips from a largish zucchini. Heap into a bowl, grind on salt and pepper, drizzle over a little olive oil and lightly toss. Delicately delicious! (You can add chopped herbs and/or grated parmesan as well.)

    Like you, I used to hate zucchini. Now it’s one of my summer vegetable highlights.