Beet & Olive Fritters
Ordinarily, frying food for guests falls outside my comfortable cooking bubble. And then every so often, the power of suggestion gets me in front of a boiling pot of oil, and, without too much work or splatter, crisp fritters emerge.
What suggested these deep red morsels was a conversation I had at the Spain’s Great Match event a few weeks ago, which I got to attend thanks to my relationship with Olives from Spain. The event showcases the country’s wines and food. There are cheeses, olives, and wine from every region and varietal, and I got to taste them all. But my favorite part of the experience wasn’t the food or the drink. Both this year and last year, when I went, I had inspiring conversations with Spanish foodies, who told me about what it’s like to eat in Spain when you’re, well, Spanish.
I’ve visited four Spanish cities and eaten well in all. But when you’re a tourist and you don’t speak Spanish and you don’t know anyone and you’re only in town for a few days–it’s simply hard to eat like a local. So I love listening to how much Spaniards adore tapas and how they know when they’re at a bar where the tapas offerings will be enough for dinner.
A platter of Spanish olives is a pretty good start to any tapas. You can read more about the health benefits and the types of olives in the first post in these series, right here. And yet, say the word “fritter,” and suddenly, I want a plate of something crispy and hot next to my olive bowl.
Here, I combined the two cravings in a really easy recipe for vegetable fritters. Vegetable fritters involves coating bite-sized pieces in yogurt (here, seasoned with minced olives), and then flour. The olives give the yogurt flavor; they yogurt makes the flour stick; the flour makes the fritters crispy. I used beets for a slightly scary Halloween effect, but you could pick out your favorite fall veggie, whether cauliflower florets or slices of delicata squash, to turn into tasty, olive-coated fritters. Dot the finished fritters with more olives–because there are never enough, are there?
This post is sponsored by Olives from Spain – look for their logo when you’re buying olives at the store. It’s the second of two (the first was this yummy olive bread). All opinions—including my love for olives—are my own. See more about Olives from Spain here. Thanks for supporting BGSK and the sponsors that keep this site turning out delicious dishes!
- Canola oil, for frying
- 3 roasted and peeled beets, cut in half and then cut into ½-inch slices
- ½ cup yogurt
- ¼ cup cured black olives, pitted and minced
- ½ cup flour
- Salt and pepper
- Lemon wedges
- Fill up a small saucepan with oil til it's about a couple of inches deep. Heat over high heat. If you have a thermometer, get the oil to about 350°F. If you don't test it by dipping in one vegetable--the oil should start bubbling vigorously but not insanely upon contact.
- While the oil is heating, combine the beets, yogurt, minced olives, and use your hands or two spoons to get the beets completely coated. Pour the flour onto a plate and mix in some salt. Take one piece of beet at a time and coat it fully in flower. Gently place in the hot oil, continuing to coat the beets until they fill the pot but don't crowd it (you'll probably want to do 3 or 4 batches, depending on the size of the pot). Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until the beets are crispy and the coating is firm. Transfer to a paper towel to drain. Sprinkle with salt. Serve with more olives and the lemon wedges.