Springtime vegetables bring to mind healthy sides and meals, lightly cooked or raw seasonal produce that just makes you feel good. But sometimes fried food is really good. Especially when you make it yourself, and you make homemade mayonnaise to accompany it. I love to make my own may because I can control for the balance of mellow creaminess to bright lemon. I like my mayo lemony, and I like it with olive oil, two things which not every recipe calls for. Experiment and make it to suit your tastes.
Before breading the vegetables I whisk a little seltzer into the egg, which makes the batter nice and light. Use any thinly sliced seasonal vegetables you have on hand and serve this as a starter or snack. Then use the leftover mayonnaise to slather on sandwiches or dip fries into. —kmartinelli
2 to 4 as a starter/snack
Spring Vegetable Fritters
seltzer or sparkling water
Breadcrumbs (preferably fresh)
zucchini, thinly sliced
Leaves of 1 artichoke, pre-cooked (steamed or from leftover artichokes alla romana)
Corn oil, or other high temperature oil for frying
egg yolk, at room temp (take out of fridge 30 minutes prior)
Dijon mustard, at room temp
Salt and pepper (preferably white pepper for color)
Dash of white wine vinegar (or any clear vinegar)
1 cup neutral oil (such as corn, grapeseed or sunflower), or a combo of neutral and high quality olive oil
Whisk the egg in a bowl with the seltzer. Put the breadcrumbs in another bowl. Dip a sliced vegetable in the egg then the breadcrumbs. Repeat with the remaining vegetables.
Heat oil in a large skillet and add the vegetables so they are in one layer; work in batches if necessary and don’t crowd the pan. Flip once and cook until the fritters are slightly browned on each side.
Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate as they finish. Serve immediately with homemade mayonnaise (recipe below).
Put the egg yolk and mustard in a bowl with a pinch of salt and pepper and a dash of vinegar. Using an electric mixer, an old fashioned whisk, or an electric whisk (my weapon of choice), beat vigorously until the contents are fully combined and slightly thickened.
While whisking, add begin to add the oil in a slow stream. Stop adding oil but continue whisking, until the mixture emulsifies and looks like mayonnaise.
Continue adding oil in a slow stream and whisking until the mayonnaise reaches the desired consistency (which may be less than a cup of oil). I like to use about half neutral oil and half good quality olive oil, but play with it to taste.
Whisk in lemon juice to taste (I like a slightly lemony mayo) and season with salt and pepper as necessary.
Store in a clean glass jar or covered with plastic wrap in the back of the fridge for up to four days.
A native New Yorker, I recently moved to Be'er Sheva, Israel with my husband while he completes medical school. I am a freelance food and travel writer and photographer who is always hungry and reads cookbooks in bed.