Vegetable Fritters

Beignets de Légumes

Preparation info

    • Difficulty


Appears in

Simple French Food

By Richard Olney

Published 1974

  • About


The fritter batter recipe is given in the next chapter.

Turned artichoke hearts (quartered, chokes removed, rubbed with lemon, raw if young and tender, parboiled if their first youth is past), asparagus tips (parboiled but firm), cauliflower florets (parboiled, firm), 2-inch lengths of the white parts of leeks (simmered for 10 minutes), mushrooms (cultivated—raw), small spring or summer white onions (raw), green beans (parboiled, firm), young sorrel leaves (raw), small zucchini sliced lengthwise in ¼-inch thicknesses (raw) are my fritter preferences. All, with the exception of sorrel leaves, should be first marinated with a bit of lemon juice and olive oil, salt, pepper, and a selection of finely chopped fresh herbsparsley, chives, chervil, tarragon, lemon thyme, hyssop, marjoram. The best oil for frying is a good olive oil but, in the interest of economy, a tasteless vegetable oil may be preferred. Rather than dipping, one by one, each fragment in the batter, it is easier to dump them all in (with the continuing exception of the fragile sorrel leaves), turning them around gently to be certain that each is well coated, and to remove them one by one, either with a teaspoon or one’s fingertips, depending on the form of the object, dropping each immediately into the hot oil (test it for heat by letting drop a touch of batter—when it sizzles at contact, the oil is ready; the heat may have to be turned up or down several times before all are finished). Don’t try to fry too many at a time and keep those that have been removed from the oil, after draining rapidly in a towel or in paper towels, well covered in the folded napkin (placed on a hot platter) from which they will be served. A handful of tiny bouquets of parsley leaves plunged for a few seconds into the fat as the last fritters are removed provides, scattered over the surface, a most attractive and flavorful garnish. Serve lemon wedges at the same time; some like to serve a tomato sauce apart.