Literally. I've been making fritters.
|Pea, mint and feta fritters.|
The demo didn't disappoint. Rachel and her partner cooked up a veritable veggie feast: basil and pesto bruschetta, followed by pea, mint and feta fritters with tzatziki and local asparagus and toasted almond salad. For dessert we were served stawberries in mint and elderflower syrup. Not only that, but they also dished up lots of sensible advice about veggie cooking and eating - I really liked the pragmatic approach that took into account the benefits of using quality ingredients whilst also accepting that not many people can afford to use expensive ingredients all the time - lots of ideas were given for maximising flavours and saving costs. Rachel's partner is an expert forager so there was also much discussion about the use of foraged ingredients.
I haven't made the pesto yet, although I'm hoping for a more successful attempt than my last one here, but I have made the fritters twice (see recipe below) - they're scrummy, and gluten free as well as vegetarian.
I told a veggie friend about the evening and he recommended Rachel's cookery books - he has one from a few years ago and still uses it often - that's the sign of a good cookery book.
Pea, Mint and Feta fritters
100g fine yellow cornmeal (I could only find a quick cook polenta which seemed to do the trick)
1 tsp baking powder
2 eggs separated
250g peas, podded weight
75g feta crumbled
2 spring onions, finely chopped
100 ml milk
Salt and black pepper
Oil for frying (Rachel's a big fan of rapeseed oil)
Blanch the peas and mash them. Mix the cornmeal, baking powder, egg yolks and mashed peas, crumbled feta, spring onion and fresh mint. Add the milk and stir until it's a smooth paste. Season well.
Whisk the egg whites until fluffy and fold into the corn batter.
Heat the oil in a frying pan and drop balls of the batter into the pan - you can make any size. Fry until golden and set. (In fact my mixture was firm enough to roll into balls and flatten into fritters and fry.)
What not to do - Despite Rachel's mantra of doing things by hand, in the interests of speed I still went ahead and whizzed it up in a food blender the first time. Bad idea because everything becomes homogenised and you can't taste the feta!