I’ve fallen into the habit this summer of roasting whatever vegetables we have on hand for dinner, usually with just coconut oil, salt and pepper, sometimes with one or two other spices from the cabinet added in, and then arranging them all on a plate like they’re fancy. These potato fritters are a perfect example of that. At first glance, they seem elaborate, but when you get down to it, they’re really just local vegetables arranged and barely adorned in a new way.
There have been times in my life where I’ve thought that arranging a plate—or picking out an outfit or cleaning the sink or organizing a bookshelf—is a shallow, silly, empty thing to do. It’s not reading a book. It’s not deep discussion. It’s nothing cerebral or heady or life-changing in and of itself. Nobody looks back at the end of her life and says I wish I’d made more dinners prettier. And yet somewhere in my soul I think I’ve always also known that you can’t argue with the way it hits you when someone hands you a plate that’s taken obvious time and attention to prepare. You can’t pretend you don’t feel a little special when you make the extra effort every once in a while to get dolled up for dinner or to pull out the fancy dishes for a dinner with friends. There’s something inside me that loves to celebrate and to savor. There’s something that delights in an ordinary set of vegetables, piled up together in an unordinary way.
I made this recipe twice this week: the first time in mini potato fritters (as pictured in the recipe below); the second time, in slightly larger rounds that yielded more than two bites apiece. I liked them both but I think I liked the mini fritters best because they crisped up easier and all the way through, creating a sort of hash brown/fried potato base for candy-like roasted squash, fresh and bright cucumber corn salad and an exotic kick of cumin dill yogurt on top. Tim and I lament often that we are some of the least hype-y people on earth, and it’s rare for us to be saying, “You have to do this!” or “This is the best ever,” enough so that sometimes it’s hard for people to know that we’re happy and having a good time. But when Tim took a bite of these baby fritters Tuesday night, he used words like “best” and “flavor profile” and “killed it,” so take that as a good sign.
hey! ps! Have you noticed our new CookSnaps plugin below? All FLW recipes now have an option where you can upload your own photos of trying them at home. We would love for you to try it out—and let us know if you have any questions.
Potato Fritters with Roasted Zucchini, Tomato Corn Salad & Cumin Dill Yogurt Sauce
The second time I made these fritters was considerably easier and faster than the first, mostly because I knew where I was going with everything and how it should end, so let me give you that advantage, too. Think of these fritters as four or five mini recipes that get layered together on a plate at the end. You start by roasting squash, then boiling corn, then grating potatoes (the most laborious task, and I won't blame you if you try to find a strong-armed someone to do it for you instead) and straining them over the sink. Those potatoes get lumped onto an oiled baking sheet, seasoned and oiled on top and baked. Meanwhile you make a salad/salsa and a yogurt sauce. I'd give myself about an hour to do everything, start to finish, but you might take less or more time.
Oh! and also! Feel free to make all the components ahead of time and just layer them before serving. The fritters, once layered, won't taste great a few hours later; but if you keep the yogurt sauce set aside until just before you want to eat, you'll be golden.
for the roasted squash:
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 pound yellow squash zucchini, sliced into rounds
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
for the corn:
- 2 cobs (3/4 to 1 pound) unshucked organic (non-GMO) corn
for the potatoes:
- 1 pound potatoes, grated
- 2 to 3 teaspoons coconut oil
- Salt and pepper, generously sprinkled
for the tomato cucumber corn salad:
- 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes or bell peppers
- 1/2 cup chopped cucumbers
- Corn kernels (from above)
- Handful of fresh basil, torn into small pieces
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
for the cumin dill yogurt sauce:
- 3 tablespoons plain yogurt
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- 2 to 3 teaspoons chopped dill (or, in a pinch, basil works)
- Salt, to taste
Preheat oven to 375F and place coconut oil in one or two baking dishes big enough to hold zucchini. Add zucchini, salt and pepper; toss together to distribute everything evenly, getting zucchini in an even layer as much as possible. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes or until wilty and golden.
Fill a large pot with enough water to cover corn. Shuck the corn, bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat and add corn, cooking it for 3 to 5 minutes. Remove cobs to a plate to cool.
Next, grate a pound of potatoes into a big pile, and place it in a tea towel or cheese cloth. Squeeze over a sink to strain as much water as possible (it'll be a lot). Grease 2 baking sheets with 1/2 to 1 teaspoon coconut oil. Scoop piles of the potato mixture on top, flattening each one. For mini fritters, make the mounds about a tablespoon in size. For larger, but still appetizer-sized fritters, make large mounds that are 2 to 3 tablespoons in size, still flattening them as much as possible. Place a small drop of coconut oil on the top of each one. Salt and pepper all over the top. Bake 10 to 15 minutes, until golden, and flip. Bake for another 10 to 15 minutes more. They're ready when they're golden and crispy.
In a large bowl, mix together tomato corn salad ingredients, adjusting salt to taste.
Last, mix together yogurt, cumin, dill and salt, again adjusting salt to taste.
Assemble appetizers: Layer a potato fritter with roasted squash, then tomato corn salad and lastly cumin dill yogurt.