Potato Fritters with Roasted Squash, Cucumber Salad and Cumin Yogurt Sauce

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.

Potato Fritters with Roasted Squash, Cucumber Salad and Cumin Yogurt Sauce
Potato Fritters with Roasted Squash, Cucumber Salad and Cumin Yogurt Sauce
Potato Fritters with Roasted Squash, Cucumber Salad and Cumin Yogurt Sauce
Potato Fritters with Roasted Squash, Cucumber Salad and Cumin Yogurt Sauce

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

By: FoodLovesWriting.com

Serving Size: 15-20 mini or 6-8 medium fritters

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.

Ingredients:

    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

Directions:

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.

http://foodloveswriting.com/2014/07/24/potato-fritters-roasted-zucchini-cucumber-corn-salad-cumin-dill-yogurt-sauce/

Cooksnaps
Shanna Mallon started Food Loves Writing back in 2008, as a way to remember her grandma and write about her life through food. Since then it's become a place leading her to a lifestyle of eating whole foods, a new home in Nashville and the love of her life, Tim. Follow Shanna on Twitter @foodloves, keep up with Food Loves Writing on Facebook and stay inspired with the monthly newsletter.

This Post Has 36 Comments

  1. Joyti

    So good – both the recipe (it looks delicious!) and the food. Creating some sort of beauty – whether it be a plate of food carefully arranged or something more permanent and “high art” – it’s always a good thing. Here’s to many more plates of beautiful food!

  2. Amanda Paa

    This…. “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.” Yes. Completely. And I feel the same way when I hand someone a plate that I took extra care with.

    Also, I love the combination of zucchini & corn – a new squash dish I need to try!

    1. Shanna Mallon

      Yes! I totally agree. I love loving people with food and love when they let me because I always feel like they are really doing me a huge kindness to give me the pleasure of handing them something to eat. : )

  3. molly yeh

    these are so pretty and colorful!!!!! like a little mid-summer latke. i am obsessed.

    also, i have never tried roasting veggies with coconut oil, but that sounds so perfect!!!!

    happy friday to you, shanna :)

  4. Bethany

    Our CSA basket has been yielding the same things and I have yet to grow tired of roasting the squash or eggplant and integrating it into our meal in a new way. Most of all, I find myself so thankful to the Lord for his bounty and how He has created the seasons to bring about these gifts of food (so much that I have to cook all week to make sure I don’t waste anything). Wonderful recipe – thanks for sharing!

  5. Heather

    I’m a big fan of trying to plate prettily at home. Working in an office, so sterile and blah (is that a technical term?) all day, every day, makes me long for things of beauty. When we make dinner at home, I try to take the extra effort to try to make it look pretty (and I did this before I Instagrammed!). Sometimes I fail, sometimes I really have a creative burst. It taps into the creative and artistic part of me that I am not able to tap into much in the day-to-day. It feed my eyes before it feeds me. Both my husband and I talk about dishes that we’ve had in restaurants that have been so beautiful that they are visually memorable to us. I don’t need every meal out to be like that, but gosh, it is nice sometimes to have edible “art.”

    As they say, you eat with your eyes first…!

    1. Shanna Mallon

      So true. I was thinking about that “eat with your eyes” line earlier and about this “mindful eating” exercise my friend Ashley did at a talk a few months ago. You look at the food, examine its textures and shapes; you smell the food and really take in its aroma; you feel it with your fingers; THEN you bite. It’s crazy how that attentiveness affects you and changes the meal. And if making my plate pretty is one way to remind myself to stop for a second, it’s powerful right there.

      1. Heather

        It IS crazy how sensory food is. I really think that it may be one of the only thing where you use all five senses because before you even plate the food, the sense of hearing comes into play – the sound of onions sizzling in butter, the bubbling of a sauce or soup. I love this “mindful eating” exercise and am going to try it. What a nice reminder to slow down in this fast-paced world and really pay attention to a simple thing like a meal!

  6. felicia | Dish by Dish

    Beautiful shanna!! I loved the sentences – “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.” Completely resonates with me.

    And yes, while I may not look back at the end of my life thinking “I wish I made my dinners prettier” – at least I’ll feel glad knowing that my dinner guests had a good time gathering around my table, eating things as simple as baked plantain fries with siracha sauce arranged fancily (or not).

    sending love.
    F.

  7. Kathryn

    Yes to all of this! I sometimes feel ridiculous for spending time scattering some herbs artfully over my plate but it can make a really silly amount of difference to how I feel about eating it and how it makes other people feel when they see the effort that I’ve put in and that makes it all worthwhile. I love the idea of these little fritters especially with that cumin-y dill sauce.

  8. Renee (will frolic for food)

    These look wonderful. This is why I follow food blogs — I feel so inspired reading through your recipes and about your process. These are going to end up on my dinner table (which is actually a coffee table) ASAP. I’ve been looking for a Summer potato recipes that’s not potato salad. This wins.

  9. Edlyn

    Oh Shanna, I relate to that last part of your writing where you say that you aren’t a hype-y person! I always thought there was something wrong with me and my inability to describe things as passionately as some do. It’s not a lack of enthusiasm. I just feel like giving everyone a chance to form their own opinions even though I might think it’s the “best ever”. These fritters are the best ever, though. Only because I love to fritter everything and thank you for another delicious excuse to do so.
    As for pretty-ing up food. I do believe that if made right (lots and lots of love), food rarely needs our help to look good. However, us creative people relish taking it up a notch. We have gifts (well, you do) to make it look even more wonderful. Sure, it is insignificant but those small moments that we take to engage our senses truly make us happy. A generous friend from work who recently made a delicious meal for her and her boyfriend, sent me a photo of it. I sent her a photo of my dinner because she gave me fresh figs off her tree, which I used in my meal. Seeing my picture, she told me that she “needed to work on her photo composition”. In my mind I thought “you absolutely don’t because it doesn’t matter. Look at that beautiful poached egg on top of that pasta!” I simply told her to look for natural light and to always do what makes her happy. Both are pretty much the same thing. :) Shanna, your photos are gorgeous and they reflect your spirit beautifully.

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