I have always been a great fan of Ottolenghi’s. And ever since I visited his restaurant in Islington, London, I just keep dreaming about that place and his vibrant flavorful recipes, which are always abundantly loaded with fresh and seasonal ingredients. And you know what, I am his admirer and have all of his four cookbooks on my bookshelf. His recipes never have gone wrong, and I have said that umpteen number of times on blog now.
Fresh and seasonal ingredients are something which his recipes always rave about. Plenty and Plenty More are two of his cookbooks which are purely on vegetarian cooking, another reason to believe that vegetarian cooking can be so expressive and full of life too. This recipe of green Pea and mint croquettes may sound daunting at first but they aren’t. These are full of sweet flavor of seasonal fresh peas and fragrant mint leaves, which are perfect for either taking to a picnic on a sunny day or even better to be served as tiny little appetizers with drink in a party you’d throw for your friends. Although, you could make them with frozen peas too, but my belief is that they can’t taste any better if you’ve got sweet fresh vibrant green peas. I know, there’s a little exercise needed to take them out of their pods, but you’d realize that’s worth the effort.
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 300 gm onions/shallots (finely chopped)
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 700 gm shelled green peas
- 20 gm mint leaves, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 4 eggs
- 100 gm all purpose flour
- 150 gm bread crumbs
- vegetable oil for frying
- salt and black pepper
- 1 tsp dried mint
- 120 gm strained yogurt
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- salt and black pepper
- Mix all the ingredients in a bowl with salt and pepper. Mix well and refrigerate until needed.
- Place the olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add the onions and saute for 15 minutes, stirring often, until soft. Remove from heat, add lemon juice.
- Blanch the peas in boiling water for 5 minutes and drain. Place the peas in a food processor and blitz briefly. They need to break down without turning into a mushy paste.
- Transfer the peas to a bowl. Add cooked onions, mint, garlic, 1 egg, salt, pepper and mix well.
- Line a tray with parchment paper, that can fit into your freezer. Shape the pea mixture into small patties, about 2 inches across. Place on the parchment paper and freeze for a couple of hours to firm up.
- Place the remaining 3 eggs in a bowl and beat gently. Place the flour and bread crumbs in two separate bowls. Remove the croquettes from the freezer and one at a time, roll them in the flour, dip them in the egg, then coat in the crumbs.
- Pour the oil in a frying pan and place the pan on a high heat for 5 minutes for the oil to get hot. Turn down the heat to medium and fry the croquettes in batches for about 5 minutes, turning once, until both sides are golden brown. Remove from oil and place on parchment paper to let the excess oil drain out.
- Serve hot with sauce.
- You can keep the patties frozen in advance. Ensure they are only partially frozen before you start to cook them.