Fried Courgette Batons with Basil Cream

Fried courgettes:

1 large courgette, sliced into batons about 2 inches long

½ cup gram flour (chickpea flour)

¼ cup rice flour

½ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup water

vegetable oil for frying (about ½  inch deep)

basil salt (optional)

Mix dried ingredients in a shallow bowl. Add enough water to make a thin batter—may be more or less than 1 cup. Mix with a fork until lumps are gone. Dip the courgette pieces into the batter and wait for the oil to heat. (I use a small cast iron skillet, over medium high heat, for almost all my frying.)

When the oil is hot enough to sizzle when a drop of batter is dropped into it, place the courgettes in the hot oil. Turn after a minute or two, and fry the other side. Remove to a plate lined with a paper towel. Sprinkle with basil salt if you have it, or other herbed salt.

Basil Cream:

¾ cup cashews

½ cup basil leaves

1 tablespoon nutritional yeast, or vegan parmesan if this isn't available

juice of ½ lemon

salt to taste

1 cup water, approximately

In a food processor or blender, grind the cashews until they're very finely ground. Add the basil leaves and nutritional yeast and grind until the leaves are pulverized. Add lemon juice and enough water to form a liquid sauce, about 1 cup. Add salt to taste.

Serve the fried courgettes with the basil cream sauce on the side.

Note on ingredients: I use canola oil, or rapeseed oil, depending on the continent. Courgettes are also known as zucchini on other continents. Nutritional yeast is available from health food stores in the US, and perhaps in the UK, and from Amazon.com. Vegan parmasan is readily available in the UK, but is not made from nutritional yeast. Only use it if nutritional yeast is not available, or skip altogether. It adds an aged cheesy taste to the sauce.