Fact: I enjoy everything Venetian. A region filled, on one hand, with rolling hills and elegant mountains and, on the other, with historic canals, lagoons and the sea. Sandwiched between the sea and hills lie the provinces of Verona and Vincenza. Here, all of Veneto’s elements come together to create a beautifully wondrous area for locals and an even better one for tourists who look for varied cuisine.
Carrot frittelle is a traditional antipasto all over the region of Veneto, where they will substitute the carrots for any firm vegetable depending on the season. A savory side dish, carrot frittelle translates to carrot pancakes or fritters. Serve these as a snack with a glass of wine prior to dinner as the brilliant northern Italians do.
I cooked these carrot frittelle sans vino for Dr. Mahmet Oz last year while on my America Farm to Table: Simple, Delicious Recipes Celebrating Local Farmers book tour. He loved everything about them, from the vitamin A content to the healthier olive oil used for frying. I’m convinced that above all of the health benefits, Dr. Oz enjoyed this recipe for the very reason I do: the tangy richness of coarsely grated feta cheese combined with the flavor of sweet, earthy carrots.
In this recipe I recommend using two cheeses, the caciotta and goat’s milk feta, but you could substitute local cheeses from wherever you like. Look for a crumbly cheese that will make the flavor somewhat pungent, such as Italian ricotta salata, bleu cheese or even Mexican cotija.