Carrot and ginger fritters

Gently spiced fritters that come together in just a few minutes, versatile enough for any time of day.

Carrot and ginger fritters

I have developed a reflex to the sight of a single carrot languishing in the crisper drawer, and these fritters are the result. They’ve been with me a long time, and with good reason: they’re very quick and easy to make and you can run up batch at any time of day.

At breakfast or – if you must – brunch, they can stand in for ordinary pancakes and are delightful with a fried egg. At lunch time, all you need is some leafage and something to dip them in – Greek yoghurt, mayo, aioli, caramelised onion or corn relish from a jar. If it’s dinner time, they make for a good snack with drinks or a simple vegetable side.

One medium-sized carrot will yield about 6 to 8 fritters with the other quantities below, and you can see that they’ll scale up as required. If you’re making lots, keep the cooked fritters warm on a baking tray in a low oven between batches.

Ginger’s warm, spiky depth is a great friend to carrots’ sweetness. For this recipe I’ll either grate up a little fresh ginger, if I have it to hand, or take a shortcut with a blob from the jar of minced ginger I keep in the fridge for stirfries.

Carrot and ginger fritters

Makes 6 to 8.

1 medium carrot
1 egg
1 tablespoon fine polenta
½ teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ginger, finely grated
1 spring onion (scallion), sliced
sea salt flakes
freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil

Grate the carrot using the coarse side of a box grater. Press the grated carrot with a couple of sheets of kitchen paper to absorb some of the excess juice to help them hold together better in the pan. (Alternatively, run them through a processor with a julienne blade – they’ll come out drier.)

In a mixing bowl, beat together the egg, polenta, cumin and ginger, seasoning lightly with a little salt and pepper. Fold in the grated carrot and spring onion until well combined.

Heat a thin film of grapeseed oil in a frying pan over medium high heat. Cook spoonfuls of the mixture – a dessert spoon makes a nice size – for 2–3 minutes a side, until golden and cooked through. Fry in batches to avoid crowding the pan.

Transfer to kitchen paper, sprinkle with some sea salt and serve immediately.