Low-carbon recipes are mindful of the energy and resources that go into producing, packaging, and transporting food.
Zucchini and lentils are both very low carbon foods. Zucchini is abundantly available in Ontario year-round, but for in-season and locally grown zucchini look for them from July to October. This plant-based recipe is crispy and satisfying and reheats well (if you have leftovers).
Make 6-8 fritters
- 1 medium zucchini
- 1 cup red lentils
- ½ medium onion
- 1 ¾ tsp kosher salt
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- ¼ tsp turmeric
- Pinch of red chilli flakes
- 1 cup chopped parsley or cilantro (use some of the tender stems!)
- Zest of 1 lemon
- Neutral oil
Optional: Vegan yogurt dip
- Mix vegan yogurt with lemon juice, salt and pepper, to taste. Dollop or dip your fritters with it!
Rinse and drain lentils, then soak in 2 cups of water for at least 1 hour at room temperature. You can soak lentils for up to 12 hours. If you don’t have a strong food processor blender, consider soaker lentils for longer so they blend easier.
Trim ends off zucchini. Then, cut crosswise into 3 pieces about 2″ long. Cut each piece lengthwise into ¼”-thick planks. Stack a few planks and slice lengthwise into ¼”-thick matchsticks. Cut onion into thin slices. Place both zucchini and onion in a colander and sprinkle with 1 tsp salt. Toss gently to coat, and then let the mixture sit over a bowl for about 1-2 hours, until at least 1 tbsp of liquid has released.
Once your lentils are done soaking, transfer them to a food processor or blender. Add ¾ tsp kosher salt, cayenne pepper, turmeric, and chilli flakes, and pulse until a mostly smooth. Scrape down the sides occasionally and be patient. You want it mostly smooth with some flecks of in-tact lentils. Transfer to a bowl and add parsley and lemon zest.
Pat dry zucchini and onion mixture with an absorbent tea towel. This is important to get a good crispy fritter! Then mix veggies into the lentils and stir to combine.
Heat some neutral oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Once hot, scoop ¼ cup of batter and press down to flatten slightly. Be sure not to crowd too many fritters into the pan (or they won’t get as crispy). Cook for 3 minutes per side, or until deep golden brown. Flip and cook for another 3 minutes. Remove from heat and set on a cooling rack, season with salt.
Serve hot and enjoy!