Verdure Fritte

Battered Vegetables


Nonno Carlo in the garden

Nature never did betray the heart that loved her.” William Wordsworth, 1770 – 1850

My grandmother, Nonna Maria, made Verdure Fritte for special occasions. Her choice of vegetables would depend on what my grandfather, Nonno Carlo, would bring back from the garden. His giardino was a masterpiece; lovingly cared for and nurtured. In return, Nonna Maria was able to provide a bountiful of dishes for her large family at mealtimes.

I now make these as a nibble at parties. They can be made in advanced and rejuvenated in the oven. Team them up with a soured cream dip or garlic mayonaise.

Verdure Fritte

Serves 6
2 eggs * 140g (5oz) plain flour * 4 tbsp water * salt & freshly ground black pepper * vegetable oil for deep-frying * various vegetables: parsnips, carrots, potatoes, all sliced and blanched * marrow, courgettes, aubergines, all sliced and rested in salt and water for one hour * orange courgette flowers, all closed

Prepare the vegetables by either blanching or placing in a little salt and water as stated above. Beat the eggs with some salt and pepper. Then add the flour and water, mixing well to obtain a light batter. Dip the vegetables or flowers into the batter one by one then deep fry in hot oil a few at a time until golden. If you use a smaller pan, the oil level is higher and then you can use less. Drain on kitchen towel placed on a warmed plate, then transfer to a serving dish. I always add a dip of some sort, such as soured cream or garlic mayonnaise, but this is optional.

I have collated all my favourite recipes into one book FOOD FOR ALL OCCASIONS.

This recipe comes from the section THE ITALIAN JOB, a selection of authentic Italian recipes.