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Jenn Louis introduces a cocktail-hour companion that will charm any crowd.

Zeppole are sweet Italian dessert fritters, and I just love them. I wanted to create a savory version, so I took a recipe that I really liked, removed the sugar, and added sage. Instead of serving them with something sweet, like lemon curd, we grate pecorino over them and serve them with aioli. They’re easy to make but really flavorful. We sometimes bring them out at catered events. Even though they’re fried, the creaminess of the ricotta makes them nice and light, so they make great hors d’oeuvres. We print our menus every day, but we always include some type of fritter. These are one of the staples that people really love.” 

Who Jenn Louis, chef/owner

Where Lincoln Restaurant, in Portland, Oregon


1 pound ricotta

4 eggs

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 tablespoon chopped sage

1 teaspoon kosher salt

zest of 2 lemons

vegetable oil

kosher salt

grated pecorino 

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 clove garlic, grated 

1 teaspoon coarse salt

1 egg yolk

1 cup + 2 tablespoons canola oil



1. With a mixer, cream ricotta and eggs. Blend in flour, baking powder, sage, salt, and lemon zest. Chill for 30 minutes. Fill a pan with 1½ inches of vegetable oil, then heat to 350 degrees. Fry tablespoon-sized balls of batter until cooked through, about 4 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pecorino. Serve with aioli (recipe below). Makes 40 fritters.

2. With a mixer, combine lemon juice, garlic, and salt. Add yolk and blend. With the motor running, slowly add oil until emulsified. 


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