Pumpkin and Feta Fritters with Smoked Salmon

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Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 2 to 3

Here, fresh pumpkin and tangy feta cheese are blended into crispy fritters that are served with smashed avocado, smoked salmon, pickled beets and arugula, creating a wonderful combination of textures and flavors. For the best results, pickle the beets at least 1 week in advance of serving this dish. You will have leftover pickled beets, which will keep in the refrigerator for up to 4 weeks. Enjoy on salads or as part of an antipasto platter.


For the pickled beets:

  • 8 large beets
  • 1 1/2 cups (12 fl. oz./375 ml) water
  • 1 1/2 cups (12 fl. oz./375 ml) white vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups (12 fl. oz./375 ml) apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup (6 oz./185 g) firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. peppercorns
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 1 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. celery seeds
  • 1 star anise

For the avocado smash:

  • 2 ripe avocados, halved and pitted
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice, plus more, to taste
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lime juice, plus more, to taste
  • Large pinch of sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste

For the fritters:

  • 12 3/4 oz. (400 g) peeled pumpkin, grated
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 cup (1 1/2 oz./45 g) crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/4 cup (1/3 oz./10 g) chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley,
     mint and/or dill
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 Tbs. (3 1/2 oz./100 g) all-purpose flour
  • Olive oil for frying
  • Salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste

For assembling:

  • 2 handfuls arugula
  • Salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
  • Fresh lemon juice, to taste
  • 2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 slices smoked salmon


To make the pickled beets, place the beets in a large saucepan, add water to cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Boil until the beets are just tender but still offer some resistance when poked with a knife, 25 to 30 minutes; do not overcook. Transfer to a bowl and let cool. When cool enough to handle, hold a beet under cool running water and rub to remove the skin, which should peel away easily. Repeat with the remaining beets.

In another saucepan, combine the 1 1/2 cups (12 fl. oz./375 ml) water, the vinegars, brown sugar, peppercorns, bay leaves, cloves, mustard seeds, cinnamon stick, salt, celery seeds and star anise. Place over high heat and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and strain the liquid, discarding the solids.

In a food processor fitted with the grating blade, or using a handheld grater, grate the beets. Transfer the beets to a 24–fl. oz. (750-ml) jar and cover with the liquid. For the best flavor, refrigerate the beets for at least 1 week.

To make the avocado smash, scoop the avocado flesh into a bowl. Add the lemon juice, lime juice, salt and pepper. Smash with a large spoon, keeping the mixture quite chunky but incorporating all of the ingredients.

To make the fritters, in a large bowl, stir together the pumpkin, garlic, feta, oregano, fresh herbs, salt and chili powder. Stir in the egg and then the flour just until combined.

In a fry pan over medium-high heat, pour olive oil to a depth of about 1/4 inch (6 mm). Working in batches, using a large spoon, spoon the batter into the pan to form the fritters, using about 2 heaping Tbs. of batter for each fritter. Cook, turning once, until the fritters are nicely golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a paper towel–lined plate and repeat with the remaining batter.

In a small bowl, toss the arugula with salt, pepper, lemon juice and olive oil.

Serve the fritters with the avocado smash and smoked salmon, topped with some pickled beets and arugula. Serves 2 to 3.

Bluestone Lane Collective Café, New York, NY

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