Recipe: Make our courgette and halloumi koftas with warm broad bean salad
PUBLISHED: 17:29 16 July 2019 | UPDATED: 17:29 16 July 2019
This is perfect way to use seasonal vegetables which are in abundance right now...and it can be made gluten-free.
Hoeing, backbreaking digging, spending hours plucking rogue weeds from amongst the beds - it's all worth it when this time of year comes around. If you grow your own, July and August are prime harvesting season. A time to, literally, reap what you've sown. Potatoes encased in skins so delicate and papery they barely need to be scrubbed. Bowlfuls of berries, weeping their sharp, sweet scarlet juices. Sugary peas. Cut-and-come-again salad leaves. But some vegetables (and this really is first world problems here) can be a bit of a pain in the butt - despite their welcome appearance in the garden. Broad beans, which will have reached their peak and gone away again soon, demand a hell of a lot of patience. Not only do you have to spend ages piercing their pods, and running your thumbs down the velvety interior to release them, but about now their 'skins' are too tough to consider eating - unless you like grey rubbery matter. So there's an extra step…depodding the beans from their outer jacket, like a squirrel fervently trying to claw a nut from its shell. I no longer have an allotment (I'm growing in my garden - well, sweetcorn and beetroot anyway) but my dad has brought me bagfuls and bagfuls of broad beans which are welcome of course, but I can no longer bribe the children into preparing them for me for the princely sum of a lolly. They're too sharp for that these days.
He's also brought me a pile of courgettes, which is growing by the day. Once they get going, those bad boys are the green gift that just keeps giving. My usual take is to grate them with flour, eggs, chilli and Parmesan into fritters, but I've deviated with this recipe slightly to make tasty Middle Eastern spiced 'koftas' which, if you switch out the bread for a GF version, can be completely gluten-free.
The vegetables that have wound-up in these are growing in gardens all over the country right now, so hopefully you'll be inspired to do something a bit different with them if you're an allotmenter. A welcome interlude from roasted courgettes, courgette salads, courgette cake and boiled beans.
A word of warning. Cook the mix within an hour of making it (you can reheat the cooked koftas later). The longer you leave the mixture, the more the proteins in the egg break down from the salt of the halloumi, which will render the batter too runny to form proper shapes.
With some grilled flatbreads or a basket of crusty baguette, this is a rather delightful lunch.
Courgette and halloumi koftas with warm broad bean, mint, lemon and chilli salad
350g courgettes grated coarsely and set over a colander to drain for 30 minutes
225g grated halloumi
2 large eggs
80g fresh white breadcrumbs
1/4tsp ground cayenne pepper
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1tsp each ground cumin, cumin seeds, fennel seeds and oregano
1/2tsp garlic granules
Seasoning to taste
Oil to cook
For the salad:
40 broad bean pods, beans and skins removed (to reveal the soft green part)
Zest of 1 lemon and juice of half
1 red chilli finely chopped
3 spring onions finely sliced
1 garlic clove crushed
Handful fresh mint
Seasoning to taste
For the salad pop the broad beans into a pan of boiling water for two minutes then drain and place into a bowl with the other ingredients. Season to taste.
Once the courgettes have drained, combine them in a bowl with the rest of the ingredients and mix together well. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Prepare a frying pan with vegetable oil and drop in a little of the mixture. Cook on both sides until golden. Taste it. If you need to add more salt and pepper do that now. Now, take heaped tablespoons of the mixture and pop into your pan on a medium heat, using the spoon to shape them into rounds (like burgers). Cook for around five minutes either side, turning with a wide fish slice. You'll want them nice and golden. Serve with your salad and bread.