Beignets De Bookclub (Book Club Fritters)

Beignets De Bookclub

My friends Charli, Felicité, Leo, Roxane and I have a book club, and these fritters made their debut at one of our suppers. The girls insisted on them featuring in the book. In some of the restaurants I've worked in, they're often served with garlic mayonnaise, but here I've gone for a lighter yoghurt-based sauce.

Prep time:

Cooking time:

Total time:

Serves: 6

For the dip:
150ml Greek yoghurt

½ clove garlic, diced

1 tbsp lemon juice

½ tsp honey mustard

2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

handful fresh mint, chopped

sea salt & black pepper

For the beignets:
200g plain flour

350ml water

1 litre sunflower oil

1 aubergine, sliced 5mm thick

1 cauliflower, cut into bite-sized chunks

6 large asparagus spears, cut in half lengthways

2 courgettes, sliced 5mm thick

1 lemon, cut into wedges

  1. Put the flour in a bowl and slowly stir in the water to make a batter. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat the sunflower oil in a large, deep saucepan over a medium-high heat until a pinch of flour sizzles as soon as it's dropped in the pan.
  3. Salt the aubergine slices generously, leave them for a few minutes, then pat dry with kitchen paper.
  4. Toss half the vegetables in the batter, allowing any excess to drip off. Place them carefully in the hot oil to deep-fry in batches, using a long metal spoon to move everything around and turn them over to fry all sides evenly. Fry for 2 minutes, until golden, then remove and drain on kitchen paper. Continue with the rest of the vegetables.
  5. Season them generously with salt and serve with the yoghurt dip, topped with the remaining mint leaves and lemon wedges for squeezing on the side.

Nina Parker has turned her passion for food into a successful career. Using expertise honed through working with well-known chefs in restaurants both in the UK and France, Nina has started her own London-based food company, NINA, which specialises in decadent ice cream and cakes. We were so excited to see Nina in action in our special Burlanes Chefs' Theatre at Wealden Times Midsummer Fair 2014. Here we've chosen Beignets De Bookclub from her book, Nina St Tropez, published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson, which features over 100 irresistible recipes inspired by the glamour and cuisine of St. Tropez.

Photographs: Paul Winch-Furness
Recipes Type: Starters