Ottolengi’s leek fritters

I love the weather here in London at the moment; it is around 20C, bright sunshine and clear blue sky. Only downside is the hay fever that comes with it (stupid plane trees!) but I love it anyway.

And when it is warmer temperatures I crave lighter food. More vegetarian dishes, fish and less heavy meat (even though I would never say no to a rare steak) and a perfect cookbook for inspiration is Ottolengi’s Plenty. I heart Plenty. After just cooking one recipe from it.

These leek fritters blew us away and although they generate quite a bit of washing up, they are worth the effort. The combination of spices works sooo well together and the garlic strong sauce with coriander and lemon is perfect to go with it. Yotam Ottolenghi sure knows what he is doing! Try this or regret it forever…

Leek fritters, serves 4

450 g leeks, trimmed

5 shallots, finely chopped

150 ml olive oil

1 red chilli, deseeded and sliced

25 g parsley, finely chopped

3/4 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp ground cumin

1/4 tsp ground turmeric

1/4 ground cinnamon

1 tsp sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1 egg white

120 g self-raising flour

1 tbsp baking powder

1 egg

150 ml milk

55 g unsalted butter, melted

Sauce:

100 g Greek yoghurt

100 g soured cream

2 garlic cloves, crushed

2 tbsp lemon juice

3 tbsp olive oil

1/2 tsp salt

20 g parsley

30 g coriander

Start by making the sauce. Blitz all the ingredients together in a food processor [or with a stick blender] until a uniform green. Set aside for later.

Cut the leeks into 2 cm thick slices, rinse and drain dry. Sauté the leeks and shallots in a pan with half the oil on a medium heat for about 15 minutes, or until soft. Transfer to a large bowl and add the chilli, spices, sugar and salt. Allow to cool down.

Whisk the egg white to soft peaks and fold it into the vegetables. In another bowl mix together the flour, baking powder, whole egg, milk and butter to form a batter. Gently mix it into the egg white and vegetable mixture.

Put 2 tbsp of the remaining oil in a large frying pan and place over a medium heat. Spoon about half the vegetable mixture into the pan to make four large fritters. Fry them for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until golden and crisp. Remove to kitchen paper and keep warm. Continue making the fritters, adding more oil as needed. You should end up with about eight large fritters. Serve warm, with the sauce on the side or drizzled over.

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