Most cultures have some sort of fried vegetable appetizer—pakoras, kakiage, yachaejeon, and so on and so on. In Michigan, that was deep-fried mushrooms dipped in ranch. These days, more often than not, I’m looking for a satisfying way to use up a random collection of vegetables but don’t want a stodgy batter holding it all down. Enter lentil or chickpea flour. When combined with soda water, either one creates a crisp, protein dense, gluten-free batter. The spices can be adjusted or omitted, but this is the combination I like best. —abraberens
coarsely grated or thinly sliced vegetables (such as carrots, cauliflower, cabbage, kohlrabi, and/or broccoli)
medium yellow onion, finely chopped
lentil or chickpea flour
1 1/2 cups
ground cayenne (optional)
In This Recipe
Into a large skillet, pour the oil to a depth of ½ inch. Heat over medium heat.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the vegetables and onion.
In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, soda water, paprika, baking soda, cayenne, if using, ginger, and a pinch of salt until a soft batter forms. Pour the batter over the vegetables and stir to coat.
When the oil is hot (a deep-fry thermometer should register 350°F), scoop ¼ cup of the coated vegetables into the oil. Working in batches, fry, slightly flattening with a fork, for about 3 minutes, until the batter is set and starting to brown. Turn the fritters and continue to fry for 2 to 3 minutes, until the other side is starting to brown.
Lift the fritter from the hot oil and let drain on a wire rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet or a paper towel-lined baking sheet.
Season the fritters with an additional pinch of salt. Serve warm or room temperature.
Abra Berens is a chef, author, and former vegetable farmer. She started cooking at Zingerman's Deli, trained at Ballymaloe in Cork, Ireland. Find her at Granor Farm in Three Oaks, MI or Farm Club in Traverse City, MI. Her first cookbook, Ruffage: a practical guide to vegetables is out now. Her second book, Grist: a practical guide to grains and legumes is due Fall 2021.