Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Zucchini and Wild Leek Fritters

Last spring I tried wild leeks (or ramps) for the first time. I discovered them at the Riverdale Farmer’s Market in Cabbagetown. I normally didn't bother going to farmer's markets until later in the season because I thought there would be nothing much to find but for some reason last year I found myself there in late April. I came across a vendor who was selling wild leeks and I was curious, so I bought a bunch.

I brought them home and, I hate to say it, but they sat in my fridge until it was almost too late to use them. This was partially because I did not know what to do with them and partially because I wasn’t really sure I wanted to try them (sometimes it takes me a while to warm up to new things). Eventually, my curiosity won out.

I am so glad it did. The flavour is a cross between garlic and onion, but they are so much more than that. Somehow they just seem like Spring; fresh and green and intensely flavoured. I also love the fact that they are wild. There are so few things we eat now that are. Since my first taste last year, I have wanted more and so as soon as I knew it was time I headed over to the nearest farmer’s market and bought a big bunch. I have many plans for them this year.  I have a Wild Leek, Bacon and Ricotta tart recipe I want to try and a Wild Leek Biscuit recipe, but the first thing I did with them was add them to my favourite Zucchini Fritters.

These fritters are an annual event for me.  I seem to crave them like clockwork every Spring.  I find them really fresh and light and they are a perfect dinner solution on the nights that I don't feel like making a big meal.  I just serve them along side a salad and that is enough. 

The recipe normally calls for a small onion and  a clove of garlic but this time I added 2 wild leeks instead. You can use the entire leek, so the leaf was also a substitute for the fresh parsley.  It was a great combination and now I know every Spring I will be craving Zucchini and Wild Leek Fritters.

Zucchini and Wild Leek Fritters
If you do not have wild leeks available these fritters are very good without.  Just substitute in 1 small onion, finely diced and 1 clove of garlic, minced.  Add 1/4 cup of chopped fresh parsley as well.

1 large zucchini, grated
2 wild leeks, finely chopped (bulb and leaf)
3 eggs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
zest of 1/2 a lemon
1/4 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
1 cup flour
salt and pepper to taste

Heat a large skillet to medium low. Mix all of the ingredients together in a medium bowl until just combined.  Drop batter by scant 1/4 cup onto the oiled and pre-heated skillet. Fry on one side until golden, flip and fry remaining side until golden brown.  Cool slightly and enjoy with a tossed salad or on their own.

Next Post: Balsamic Onion and Polenta Cake


  1. Wow! These look delicious Allison! What a great discovery!

  2. Allison these look delicious, thank you for sharing.

  3. I have never tasted wild leek. Your recipe has intrigued me.

  4. these look awesome. thanks for posting. totally going to try them tonight.

  5. Hi Allison,
    Was googling: leek bacon blog - and found your recipe. Just what I needed on a hungry, busy afternoon! - Had to adapt a bit, but it still was so good, that I had to remember the recipe - new was lemon zest and nutmeg in the recipe.
    - My leeks were not wild - but, as yours, they had rested for quite a while in my basket - "asking" why don't you choose me!

  6. love your style of flavours and cooking! from Alice Springs - central desert - Australia - just bought foodies of the world for budding junior cook


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