Do you love or hate Delia Smith? I haven’t made up my mind yet…
I still haven’t forgiven her for one cock-up of a recipe I prepared a few years ago which involved filling a five litre pot full of root vegetables with some water and cooking it in the oven. The end result tasted of bland nothingness. It took me ages to peel the lot and it was quite an expensive mess if you add up the food, electricity and time costs. It made me wonder if she simply concocted the recipe in her head and never bothered to actually test it. Since then I’ve been avoiding her books like the plague.
However, everyone needs a second chance and this is it. Actually, these little cakes are quite good so I have to give Delia credit where it’s due.
Anyway! Let me talk about what it’s like to look after a toddler boy. Gabriel is boisterous and curious about everything. He will dive into a cupboard and unpack its contents. His inquisitive mind will make him want to pull contraptions apart and put them together again. Buttons! Anything that looks remotely electronic with buttons he will immediately aim for. If things make a noise, even better, otherwise he will make up for it.
Which is why I thought this recipe would definitely pique his interest. When he heard the noisy grater machine he was up on a chair in a split second and we got to work.
The look of contentment and achievement is priceless.
Played with an electronic gadget. Check. Made a lot of noise. Check. Created a big mess. Check. Ate yummy cakes. Check. Happy. Check!
- 3 medium [marrows/zucchini] courgettes, weighing about 350g (12 oz) in total
- 2 medium Desiree potatoes, weighing about 350g (12 oz) in total
- 30ml (2 tbsp) chopped fresh mint
- 225g (8 oz) feta, crumbled
- 2 [scallions] spring onions, finely chopped
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 15ml (1 tbsp) plain flour
- 25g (1 oz) butter
- 15ml (1 tbsp) olive oil
- sea salt and freshly milled black pepper
- 35 x 25.5cm (14 x 10 inches) baking tray
- Coarsely grate the courgettes; using a food processor is preferable since it is less time consuming. Place the grated courgettes into a colander then sprinkle them with a teaspoon of salt to draw out some of their excess moisture and leave them to drain for about an hour, with a plate or bowl underneath to catch the juices.
- Meanwhile, scrub the potatoes and place them in a saucepan with a little salt. Pour just enough boiling water over them to cover them, and then simmer gently with a lid on for 8 minutes to parboil them. Drain them and leave them aside until they are cool enough to handle. Peel them and using the coarse side of a grater, grate them into a large bowl and season with more salt and freshly milled black pepper.
- After an hour, rinse the courgettes under cold, running water, squeeze out as much moisture as possible with your hands then spread them out on a clean tea cloth and roll it up to wring out every last drop – this is very important, so the cakes are not wet.
- Now add the courgettes to the grated potatoes, along with the spring onions, mint, feta, beaten egg, and using two forks, lightly toss it all together. Next, divide the mixture into 8 and shape into rounds about 1cm (½ inch) thick, pressing them firmly together to form little cakes. Lightly dist them with flour.
- Pre-heat the oven to 220°C/fan 200°C 430°F/gas mark 7 and also preheat the baking tray. Meanwhile, melt the butter and oil in a small saucepan, then brush the cakes on both sides with it. Place the cakes on the tray and then put it on the top shelf for 15 minutes. Carefully turn the cakes over using a palette knife and a fork and return them to the middle shelf of the oven for a further 10-15 minutes. Serve hot.
- Serving Size: 1 serving
- Calories: 546
- Sugar: 2 g
- Sodium: 1.37 mg
- Fat: 37 g
- Saturated Fat: 15 g
- Carbohydrates: 23 g
- Fiber: 2 g
- Protein: 32 g