Courgette fritti with smoked garlic aïoli

Courgette fritti with smoked garlic aïoli

By
From
Little Italy
Serves
12
Photographer
Jacqui Melville

What’s not to love here? Golden, crispy courgette fries served with a creamy, smoky, garlicky aïoli. This is one of my all-time favourites. They never last long.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
2 large courgettes
200g ‘00’ flour
100ml olive oil
2 egg whites
vegetable oil, to shallow-fry

Smoked garlic aïoli

Quantity Ingredient
3 small smoked garlic cloves, crushed
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika, or to taste
2 egg yolks
1 lemon, juiced
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
100ml mild-flavoured olive oil

Method

  1. Prepare the the courgette by slicing it on an angle, ½ cm thick. Lay down these slices and cut into thick matchsticks.
  2. Make a batter: put the flour in a large bowl, make a well in the centre and whisk in the oil and a tablespoon of warm water. Gradually add more water if necessary to create a batter that’s the consistency of double cream. Place the egg whites into a clean bowl.
  3. Start on the aïoli: put the garlic, paprika, egg yolks and a good squeeze of lemon juice in a bowl. Season and whisk until combined, then slowly drizzle in the olive a little at a time, whisking constantly, until it has all been incorporated. Taste and add a little more lemon juice or smoked paprika according to what you like. Also, if the aïoli becomes too thick, whisk in a little warm water to loosen it slightly.
  4. Heat the vegetable oil until it measures 180°C on an oil thermometer. (If you don’t have one of those, a cube of bread thrown in should turn golden brown in 20 seconds.)
  5. Whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks and fold gently through the batter. Dip handfuls of courgette into the batter and fry in batches in the hot oil until golden and crispy. Drain on paper towels and keep warm while you cook the rest. Serve hot, poked upright into 12 little pots, sprinkled with sea salt, with the aïoli alongside.
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