Picture-Imperfect Herb Fritters

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Herb Fritters with green tahini

Pictures don’t always tell the whole story. I’m pretty thrilled with the Ottolenghi-inspired Herb Fritters you see here. Brown and misshapen, I admit they’re not much to look at. That’s one of the problems facing food bloggers these days. If you want to reach a wide audience your food has to look extra-special scrumptious. Wrapping it in bacon works. So do colorful sprinkles and peanut butter swirls.

It’s true that peanut butter swirls look pretty and get loads of shares (especially when they are tied up in a bow), but they don’t always ignite the imaginations of the more mature palates among us. It’s kind of a Catch 22 because sites like Pinterest and Instagram have brought food bloggers together as a powerful community, but it has also played a part in limiting what defines good food on the web. Leaving delicious but less than gorgeous food un-loved and un-clicked.

Herb Fritters

That’s why I feel so sad for these delicious little fritters. Sure they look like hard brown hockey pucks. But they’re not, I promise you. In fact, these Herb Fritters – like all good fritters – are tender and fragile. The sort you have to handle carefully, turning them gently in the pan.

Fortunately, a pretty dip or a drizzle makes a welcome accompaniment for Herb Fritters. Bright green tahini has just the right bit of bling. Its hue is so vibrant it almost make these ugly ducklings, deliciously laced with currants and walnuts, ready for their Instagram closeup. GREG

Herb Fritters with green tahini

Herb Fritters with Green Tahini

Print This Recipe Total time Yield 16Source Adapted from Yotam OttolenghiPublished
Herb Fritters with Green Tahini

Ingredients

  • ½ cup tahini
  • 2 ounce chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • ½ clove garlic (peeled and minced)
  • 2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt (plus more for seasoning)
  • 2 slice soft country loaf style sandwich bread
  • 8 large eggs (lightly beaten)
  • 5 ounce fresh green herbs, soft textured leaves only, roughly chopped (choose a combination such as, dill, basil, and cilantro)
  • 1 ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ cup currants
  • ¼ cup chopped toasted walnuts
  • canola oil (as needed)

Directions

Place tahini, parsley, garlic, lemon juice, and salt in a blender. Run the machine, covered, for about 30 seconds then pour in up to ½ cup water to adjust the sauce to the desired consistency. Adding the water at the end improves the color. Set the sauce aside or refrigerate, covered, up to five days.

Cut the sandwich bread, soft crusts and all, into small dice then run them through the food processor to make coarse breadcrumbs. Set aside.

In a medium bowl whisk together eggs, fresh herbs, cumin, currants, walnuts, and fresh breadcrumbs. Set aside a few moments so that the flavors meld.

Meanwhile, heat about ¼-inch canola oil in a medium saute pan set over medium heat. Use a small ladle to spoon the batter into the hot oil. Use the ladle to flatten the batter as needed into 3-inch discs about ½-inch thick. Once they’re in the oil let them sit undisturbed for a minute or two to allow them to develop a firm, browned crust on the bottom, once firm tenderly flip each one with a spatula. Brown the other side then carefully move the fragile fritters to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Season each fritter with a little salt while it’s still hot. Continue with the remaining batter. Do not crowd the pan.