Here’s the thing. If you’re someone with intolerances, it can be easy (especially in the early stages) to get caught up on what you can’t have, so much so that you can’t see the potential in what is still available to you. I seem to remember my 22 year old self having something akin to a tantrum as I read a low-FODMAP recipe book and mourned the use of onions, wheat, and chickpeas (to name a few) in my cooking.
I find a lot of the time that people don’t believe that you can make food that tastes good when it’s missing what, in Western cultures, people generally consider key ingredients. I have promised those people, and I promise you that it is possible. And not that hard – all you need is a little imagination. (You can even make good curry, but more on that later, yes?)
I’ll admit that summer and its bounty make it easy – there are tons of low-FODMAP fruits and vegetable available that need little embellishment become delicious dishes, and that’s what I’m sharing today…
Corn Fritters with Sweet and Sour Aubergine, serves 3
For the fritters:
Kernels from 1 cob of corn
1 zucchini, grated
1 tsp lemon zest
small handful chopped fresh basil leaves
small handful chopped fresh mint leaves
scant 1/4 tsp baking soda
3 tbsp gluten free baking mix
Combine the corn, zucchini, lemon zest, herbs and baking mix with a fork. Make sure that the flour is coating all of the other ingredients and not hanging around in little pockets – otherwise it will make the batter lumpy. Break the eggs into a smaller bowl or cup and whisk briefly before adding them to the rest of the ingredients. Stir to combine, and you should find you have a lovely frothy mixture (that’s the baking soda at work, so you need to cook the fritters right away). If you’re making the mixture in advance, keep the eggs separate until the last minute, or the fritters won’t be lovely and light.
Bring a frying pan and a little oil to a medium heat. Cook the fritters in batches of three – each about the size of a tablespoon, for a minute or so on each side. Cooking time with vary depending on your stove and your pan, so with the first batch, cut one open to see that they’re cooked through. You can usually tell that they’ve had enough time to cook because when you flip them they don’t resist – if they’re not done they will start to break and be messy to flip.
For the Sweet and Sour Aubergine:
2 cups aubergine, cut into 1cm square cubes (this is probably half a large aubergine)
1 capsicum, chargrilled and cut into about the same size as the aubergine
1 clove garlic, minced (omit if you’re in the complete elimination stage of the low-FODMAP diet)
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tbsp brown sugar
salt to taste
1/2 tsp chilli flakes (or to taste)
handful of flat-leaf parsley
Have you chargrilled a capsicum before? It’s very easy and a great way to add another flavour dimension to a dish. Basically you place it directly on your heat element (it’s best with gas but you can do it with an electric stovetop too) and burn it. Turn frequently until most of the skin is blackened, then wrap in cling film for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, you’ll be able to peel most of the skin off pretty easily – it doesn’t matter if you don’t quite get all of it. Once that’s done you can pull out the stalk, scrape out the seeds and cut it up!
Sauté the aubergine in a medium pan with a little olive oil, until browned all over. Aubergine tends to want a lot of oil – a good way to avoid feeding it too much oil is to keep it covered while cooking, so it absorbs steam rather than tons of oil. Health! Once it’s nice and brown, add the vinegar and sugar, salt and chilli. Stir for two minutes (you can leave the lid off now). Finally add the tomato, garlic and capsicum and cook for another 3-5 minutes – adding salt and potentially more vinegar/sugar to taste. Finish with the parsley, finely chopped.
I had mine with some green salad, a bit of extra mint and lemon. It was a little too good.