I am always on the lookout for good meatless dishes, something to throw into the culinary repertoire when I have overdone beef, pork and chicken, even salmon. Protein is important to good health, but we in the Western world consume far too much meat, so it is important to find a balance, and a tasty one to boot.
Fritters are a fun way to incorporate more vegetables into one’s diet. I’ve used zucchini in fritters before, combining the shredded courgette with carrot, sometimes even corn, for a crisp and savory treat that doesn’t bloat the belly. But I’ve never used sweet potatoes in fritters, which is surprising because I love their flavor.
In this recipe from Food & Wine sweet potatoes get help from turnips or Yukon Gold potatoes. I have made these fritters with potatoes only, but try turnips if you would like that tuber flavor. Also assisting the flavor profile are sweet and tasty leeks which you combine with heart-healthy anti-inflammatory spices such as cumin, turmeric and ginger.
The key to making fritters crispy is to drain and squeeze as much moisture out of them at the beginning before you assemble the rest of the dish. Salt will help you do this, but a little elbow grease will do wonders.
And the fritters get a lift in the end with a delicious lemon-tahini sauce that you will make from a handful of ingredients before you do anything else.
Makes 4 large fritters.
- 3/4 cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 garlic clove, finely grated
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided, plus more
- 1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and coarsely shredded on a box grater
- 1 pound turnips or Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and coarsely shredded on a box grater
- 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 medium leeks, thinly sliced
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- Baby kale, for serving (optional)
Whisk together yogurt, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a small bowl. Set aside.
Place a colander over a large bowl; add sweet potatoes, turnips, and remaining 2 teaspoons salt; toss to combine. Let mixture stand 10 minutes. Transfer mixture to a clean kitchen towel; gather up edges, and squeeze out excess liquid. Transfer sweet potato mixture to a medium bowl.
Heat olive oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add leeks and a pinch of salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until leeks are soft and starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Add cooked leeks, eggs, flour, cumin, turmeric, and ginger to sweet potato mixture, and stir until thoroughly combined.
Wipe out skillet and add a 1/8-inch layer of vegetable oil. Heat over medium until shimmering. Working in batches, spoon 2 tablespoons of batter for each fritter into skillet about 2 inches apart, and flatten slightly with a spatula. Cook until golden and crisp, 2 to 3 minutes per side.
Transfer fritters to paper towels to drain, sprinkle with salt to taste. Add more oil to skillet between batches as needed.
Serve with lemon-tahini sauce and kale, if using.
"*" indicates required fields