Greek Island Mushroom Patties with Cumin & Cheese
On Ikaria, traditional cooks knew instinctively what science is proving now: that mushrooms are as nutritious as red meat and a lot better for us and the planet. On the island, as throughout the Aegean, recipes for mushrooms abound and there are dozens of wild varieties. This particular dish, seductively seasoned with cumin, comes from the island of Rhodes. To find some of the artisinal Greek products you'll need to make this, visit my online shop here, where you'll discover a host of lovingly curated Greek ingredients.
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin Greek olive oil plus more for pan-frying*
- 4 cups chopped fresh mushrooms any combination of cultivated and/or wild
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 scant teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ cup water
- 2 eggs slightly beaten
- 2/3 cup grated Greek kefalotyri or aged myzithra cheese or any hard sheep’s milk cheese
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
In a large skillet over medium heat warm the olive oil and sauté the mushrooms until wilted, 4 – 6 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
Combine the flour, salt, and baking powder in a medium bowl. Make a well in the center and add the water and eggs. Stir with a fork or wire whisk to form a thick batter. Stir in the mushrooms and their juices, cheese and cumin.
To fry: Heat about a half inch of olive or other monounsaturated oil in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, drop two tablespoons at a time of the batter into it, in several increments, to form individual, amorphous patties or fritters. Pan-fry on one side until golden and flip to cook on the other side. Remove with a slotted spoon or spatula when both sides are crisp and golden and drain on paper towels. Repeat until all the batter is used up. Skim off any burnt pieces of flour from the oil and replenish if necessary, always bringing it back to sufficiently hot temperature before adding more batter.
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• Alternatively, you can bake the fritters. Preheat the oven to 375F/190C. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and drop two tablespoons of the mushroom batter at a time at intervals of two inches in neat rows. Bake until golden, flipping once to cook on both sides.