This recipe is a great way to use some of the lovely courgettes that are in season at the moment. These delicious little cakes are quite mild in flavour, just add a slightly larger pinch of chilli flakes if you want a bit more zing. The uncooked cakes keep well in the fridge overnight, so they can prepared well ahead of time. Alternatively, make and cook them straight away and serve them warm or at room temperature. Canapé sized, they are a moreish mouthful, or make them a bit larger and serve, with salad, as an easy starter.
To make a vegetarian version use Gran Moravia rather than Parmesan. Gran Moravia is a vegetarian hard cheese made using vegetable rennet.
Ingredients - makes 16 canapés or serves 4 as a starter
250 gms courgettes
1/2 small onion (about 50 gms)
40 gms finely grated Parmesan or Gran Moravia
2 tbsp chopped parsley
Zest of one lemon
25 gms breadcrumbs
25 gms toasted pine nuts
Pinch dried chilli flakes
3 tbsp lightly beaten egg
Salt and pepper
Chop the onion and courgettes evenly.
Warm 1 tbsp olive oil in a wide frying pan and sauté the onion and courgettes until soft.
Cool them on kitchen paper, to absorb as much moisture as possible.
Meanwhile, mix the Parmesan, parsley, zest, breadcrumbs, toasted pine nuts, chilli and beaten egg. Season well.
When cool stir in the courgettes and onions.
Lightly grease a baking sheet.
Take spoonfuls of the mixture and form little cakes, about 3cms in diameter. It helps the stickiness of this process if you keep your hands greased with a little olive oil.
Store in the fridge until ready to cook.
Spray lightly with olive oil and cook at 190c for 10–15 minutes or until the cakes are turning a golden colour.