zucchini, ham and ricotta fritters

I am the last person on the internet to join the Cute Overload train; I mean, I get it, it’s cute. I love cute, you love cute, cute makes the birds sing and the sun shine and the world go round and tra-la-la. I get it. But man, oh man. Sometime in the last two weeks it hit me like a ten ton truck and people, the cute is killing me. I can’t breathe sometimes, the cute is so strong. I’m tag-surfing snorgle on Flickr, sputtering nonsensicals like “piggle snorgle tiny mouf action ohmy gah! Gah!” when Alex asks me how my day was. I want to take bites of the cute, but I know, I know I’d bite down too hard and take a piece out of the ear. When she added an “I shall leeck you” category it was about all the precious I could take and I had to let Alex in on the Overload, my new time-sucking Internet habit; Alex, who like any man with two eyes pulse, quickly found the Cats ‘n’ Racks and let’s just say, it is not just my redonk little habit anymore.

Speaking of redonk, in my predictable language-sponging manner, I’ve also picked up the slang, the cute-‘bonics and it’s having a horrific effect on my ability to string sentences this week. Take our dinner tonight; it was just one of the best, most awesome, breathtakingly lovable weekday night dinners we’ve had in ages and I can just tell, these fritters are gonna be yr new BFF, too!!!1! Do you see? Do you see how that sentence just fell from grace when my enthusiasm kicked in? Let’s hope this passes real soon.

In the meanwhile, you can consider me officially smitten with Donna Hay. The fritter recipes in the issue I picked up this week demanded my near-immediate attention. Unlike those Indian-spiced ones I made a few weeks ago, which are more like loose ingredients bound with an egg or two, these are more of a pancake batter speckled with wonderful things. They also take about one-eighteenth of the time to make. There’s loads of room for interpretation and ingredient-substitution, but on this first round I followed the Zucchini, Ham, Basil and Ricotta Fritter recipe to the letter. It worked like a charm in my small non-stick, which — all Teflon debates aside — is simply the easiest thing to fry them with a minimum of grease. They slide right out without argument, and don’t over-brown without fair warning.

My only complaint, and really, not much of one, is that it says this serves two and I’d argue with a small salad this easily serves four. I’m stuffed. I think I’m just going to lay back, close my eyes and roll around in my pouchy skin and daintily crossed legs until all of this passes. Being this precious all the time is utterly exhausting.

zucchini basil ham ricotta fritter

Ahem, speaking of late to the party, there is apparently a Donna Hay meme in the food blogosphere, and a recent one in which they celebrated her fritter recipes! Some lovely click-fodder abounds and recipe inspiration abounds. Go, I won’t be hurt.

Zucchini, Ham, Basil and Ricotta Fritters
Adapted from Donna Hay Magazine, Issue 29

1 cup self-raising (self-rising) flour, sifted
2 eggs
20 grams (3/4 ounces) butter, melted [I translated this as 1 1/2 tablespoons]
1/3 cup (2 1/2 fluid ounces) milk
Sea salt and cracked black pepper
1/2 cup fresh ricotta cheese
1/4 cup torn basil leaves
75 grams (2 2/3 ounces) leg ham, torn
1 zucchini (courgette), cut into long, thin strips
Vegetable oil for shallow frying

Place the flour eggs, butter, milk, salt and pepper in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Fold through the ricotta, basil, ham and zucchini. Place two tablespoon of the oil in a small frying pan [I used a light coating of olive oil spray] and heat over medium heat. Add half of the mixture to the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes each side or until bubbles appear on the surface. Set aside.

Add another two tablespoons of the oil and repeat with the remaining batter. Cut into wedges to serve. Serves [at least] 2.

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51 comments on zucchini, ham and ricotta fritters

  1. These look absolutely scrumptious!! I recently picked up my first issue of Donna Hay, and kick myself for not doing so much earlier on. I’m just in awe of all her recipes and photographs!

  2. Is the SmittenKitchen still open for advice? I made a meringue tonight that called for six egg whites. After (aherm) way more than six eggs, I finally got there. Two questions: 1) Any tips on improving my egg-separating technique? (An obvious one: try not to drop an egg on the floor, that makes it awfully hard to separate.) and 2) Any tried-and-true suggestions for using up (sigh) 9 or 10 egg yolks (with a bit of egg white thrown in for good measure)?

  3. meghan

    midnite99 – i like using my hands to separate eggs. just open the egg, dump it onto your palm and let the egg whites drip out between your fingers. much easier than the back-and-forth thing where i always seem to end up breaking the yolk. although it’s a little slimy.

  4. That looks incredible. I may have to check out this Donna Hay Magazine, as I just ended my subscription to two cooking magazines and am going through major withdrawal.

  5. Jenifer from Memphis

    I think I found something to cook for dinner this weekend, I knew there was a reason that I bought a zucchini! ( ONE MORE POST TO GO! )

  6. Looks yummy – will have to try this one.
    LOL at your cute overload addiction – my daughter is the epitome of overload when I load that site for her – she about passes out from all the “awwwwws” that pass her lips. ;)

    For separating eggs, I just watched Alton Brown do it last night with a slotted spoon.

  7. LOL I had forgotten about that site. You made me watch again! I should be working, not looking at cute pictures of puppies!!! Luckily, I´ll have my fair share of puppies in real life soon and my blog is likely to become filled with cute-overload-worthy pics :) ohhhh puppies *swooning*

  8. I’m not sure what it is about all those cute pictures, but it’s like some sort of compulsion. You can’t just look at one, and before you know it an hour has passed and your mind is full of cute little kittens and puppies and other wee animals. As for Donna Hay, I think I am becoming a big fan, and hopefully I have hinted heavily enough to get her magazine and perhaps a cookbook or two for Christmas. Your Donna dish looks absolutely wonderful!

  9. tammy

    well, i just figured out what the “h” and i will be doing for our friday date night – yummy – i do believe that while it might serve 4 i will be lucky to get 1/2 a serving once this is made…

  10. Genevieve

    One quick question – must I use self rising flour? Will good ol’ all purpose suffice? Should I add a little (like 1/4 tsp) baking soda for the leavening (sp??) agent to compensate? Many thanks, as I have both ham and ricotta in the fridge to use up and always have zucchini on hand!

  11. Tan

    So happy you’ve discovered Donna Hay – we love her! You should subscribe…I picked up a 2 year subscription for $40 when I went to see her at the Melb Good Food and Wine Show and love it when I can see the mag peeking out of the letterbox on the way home from work :)

  12. Yvo

    I totally thought this was a frittata… oops. Hehe I was going to ask you about putting non-stick in the oven, because though mine swears it’s oven safe to 500 degrees, I just can’t bring myself to do it. Looks delicious… and look! You’ve made it through NaBloPoMo!!! Congrats!!! And thank you for all the yumminess all month long (will you continue? I’ll miss you if you don’t!)

  13. Sashikha

    I have long been a fan of Donna, my father-in-law discusses her as though she is a part of our family because I use her recipes so often. They are so easy and taste great. Just bought the Christmas issue, and it’s full of flagged recipes waiting to be tried. Also thanks, for a great month of recipes & anecdotes, I’ve really enjoyed reading your adventures, kitchen & otherwise!

  14. Celeste

    I can’t help wondering how this would taste made with potato flour. I would probably not have the guts to flip such a large pancake though, and would end up making lots of smaller ones.

    Something tells me this would be good leftover in a lunchbox.

  15. Ali

    These look really good, but I’m not a fan of ricotta … any suggestions on substituting another cheese for ricotta, maybe grated mozzerella?

    1. deb

      Ricotta works quite differently than harder cheeses in recipes — it adds moisture and texture. But that isn’t to say that others won’t work. You’ll have to play around with the recipe, as I’ve only made it the way it is shown above.

      Self rising flour is not the same as all-purpose flour. However, you can make your own self-rising flour at home.

  16. Ali

    Someone asked above “must I use self rising flour? Will good ol’ all purpose suffice?” I’m wondering the same, and didn’t see a response; if substituting all-purpose flour, any suggestions re: amount of baking soda/powder to add?

  17. Nicole

    These were really good, but little dry. I wonder if I cooked it too long? I left them a little longer on the first side because I was having trouble flipping them. Next time I’ll make them smaller (like another reader suggested) and will be heavier on the salt and pepper. But there will be a next time!

  18. Renate

    This recipe made a great tasting fritter! I’m glad I stared browsing back over your older posts. I had to add onions, but otherwise followed the recipe to the letter. Like someone else mentioned, I would call this a frittata as well. The best way I’ve found to make dishes like this is in my Calphalon double frittata pan. It’s like buying two pans in one, and they interlock, so you just flip the whole thing. It stays intact perfectly.

  19. jenniegirl

    These were pretty good-they needed some salt though-and maybe a bit of a kick!
    Served it for supper with sour cream and salsa-made us both happy.

  20. Oh thank you for finding/posting this! My two year old is on an anti-veggie kick and I was running out of ideas (I’ve hidden them in everything short of his morning cereal!) but he really liked this :0)

  21. Delicious! These are so light an airy yet perfectly filling. I served them for brunch with an arugula and persimmon salad (as summer turns to fall…) and they were very popular. Thank you!

  22. Christine

    We dipped into this old post for our X-mas day breakfast and it was super! As we ate it though, we felt like it almost needed something sweet. Don’t think we’re crazy, but we broke out the strawberry preserves and it was great. That’s because these fritters remind me of a Monte Cristo sandwich in their flavor – a sandwich that is ham turkey and swiss, batter fried and topped with a touch of powdered sugar and some fruit preserves for dipping. Another note – we saved 1/2 the batter in the fridge for another morning and they cooked up well, this time as 3 – 4″ fritters.

  23. Nicole

    these were great! I substituted mozzarella for the ricotta, and they tasted wonderful. I had a few mishaps in getting the beautiful presentation down, but even as a scramble it was an excellent meal. :)

  24. Eliza

    Amazing! Loved it. We made it with our own shredded zukes from the freezer (squeezed the moisture out) and frozen diced basil. I skipped the ham and added some sauteed onion. This will get made a lot! It is a bit like pancakes though, where the first one doesnt come out great. I would make them as pancake sized next time.

  25. Sofia

    Hi, I have never posted before but have been reading your blog with so much interest and, excuse my intensity, lust, over the recipes, descriptions, pictures, mmmmmmmmm
    Anyway, this recipe intrigued me, but in Chile, where I am from and live, there is no self rising flour. I pressed the indications in your comment/ reply (Nº 27) but it took me nowhere. Do you know what could have happened??
    In any case, congratulations, and thank you so much for the great ideas and say Hi from Chile to that adorable Jacob of yours.

    1. deb

      Hi Sofia — The site had some downtime earlier today which may have accounted for the link not working. Here’s the information:

      For each cup of flour, add 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder and a 1/2 teaspoon salt; mix extra and store it in an airtight container for months.

  26. Amanda

    Tried these tonight and they were delicious!! I subbed simple ham slices (thicker cut) and the “basil in a tube”. I also halfed this recipe and it was PLENTY for me. I’ll pop the leftovers in the oven tomorrow for lunch. Thank you!! Great & simple dinner!

  27. Hannah

    I made this last night with salami, leeks, and cauliflower instead of the ham, basil and zucchini – it was delicious! Such an easy and tasty mid-week dinner.

  28. Marie

    My one year old i I just had them for lunch: we both loved them! One question though, do they freeze well? Which would make it an even easier lunch!!

  29. Sharaya

    Absolutely delicious! I substituted spinach for the basil; mozzarella string cheese halfed and torn into well…strings instead of the ham; and topped off the divine creation with kale chips from your kale chips recipe. Divine! Thank you so much for posting this.

  30. Andi

    I’m thinking about making these for a dinner party for 40. Would these be good at room temperature? Or reheated just before serving? Deb, I love your site- thanks for such tasty recipes!

    1. deb

      Andi — Thank you. I think they’d be better reheated lightly. They have a little bit more of an American-style breakfast pancake texture than a crunchy fritter.

  31. Emily

    Very tasty! The kids even ate it. :) It’s very pancake-like, reminded me of Dutch pannekoek. I’ll make this again and may try spinach instead of zucchini, bacon would also be good, and I might add some parmesan; I love that it seems so versatile and was pretty quick to make, and not lots to clean up!

  32. Liz

    Attempting to whisk two eggs with a cup of flour left me with a dry, crumbly mess. I had to add half a cup of milk to get the dough to loosen up even a little. Any ideas where I might have gone wrong?

  33. I’m not usually a huge eater and I can’t get enough of this!! I used prosciutto but otherwise followed the recipe to a T. My husband is working late and his portion is sitting in my fridge but I’m dangerously close to eating it.