If you’ve had enough of heavy, wintery food for one year, then I suspect these crispy spring fritters with squashy peas, crumbled feta, lemon zest and large handfuls of fresh mint and parsley might be just up your street!
It is all of a few weeks into spring, and is still annoyingly chilly most days, and yet I find myself craving salads and lighter bites already! I suspect it might have something to do with the fact that I have just survived my first British winter in a long while – and the accompanying heavy food – after recent ones spent in places where you blink and miss winter altogether aka Greece and Australia (Winter? What winter?)
So as the evenings get lighter and the temperatures get (minimally) warmer, oodles of recipe ideas with ‘spring greens’ kinds of ingredients in them are getting stubbornly stuck in my head. I started with this asparagus brunch tart with parmesan and basil (mmm … asparagus!) and now it’s time for PEAS to have their moment of glory … oh, and let’s not forget peas’ best friend MINT … and let’s go ahead and throw in one of Helen’s best friends FETA CHEESE, too, because I’m not sure there’s been enough of that around here lately 😉
So all I’ve done here is combine those three best buddies with some cooked quinoa (for loads of protein-y goodness), a couple of handfuls of chopped fresh parsley, the zest of a lemon, plenty of salt and pepper and an egg and a bit of cornflour to bind the mixture together. I was thinking of adding a couple of chopped spring onions, too, but this sieve-head forgot, so I’m going to include those in the recipe below because they do go really well. You can also add a bit of parmesan cheese for even more tangy, cheesy flavour.
You know what all this means? These fritters are vegetarian and gluten free, for any readers who that might be important for.
If I’m totally honest with you, I wasn’t sure whether these fritters would end up being just a tad boring, but they didn’t! And I’m not just saying that to get you to like me and stick around here today. There are so few ingredients in the fritters, but I made sure I didn’t skimp on any of the tasty bits. I decided roughly how much I should add of each of the ingredients and then went ahead and threw in more for good measure. I used those lovely frozen petit pois to give the fritters a nice subtle sweet taste. I mashed them up a bit to release the flavour and help bind the mixture and stirred them in with all the lovely lemony cheese and herbs..
After frying these in a little healthy oil (I used rapeseed), you end up with a beautifully light and crispy fritter, perfect served with a simple green dressed salad. They actually reminded me a lot of falafel! I guess that makes sense, as peas are a pulse, after all, just like chickpeas are. Next time I make them, then, I might try stuffing them into a wrap, dolloping on some hummus and eating them just like I would a falafel wrap.
One of the things I liked the best about these fritters was the fact that because there were LOADS of fresh herbs in them, the herbs around the edge got all crispy in the pan … which tasted just like crispy seaweed! I KNOW! Definitely unexpected, but I loved it!
So my verdict on these spring fritters = DELISH, and I will be making them again! Are you craving them too, now? I so hope you’ll ditch your winter stews and pies this week and give them a go!
Pea, mint & feta quinoa fritters
for the fritters
- 1/2 cup quinoa (weight when uncooked), cooked and drained (see notes)
- 2/3 cup feta cheese
- a handful of grated parmesan optional
- 7 ounces frozen peas sweet petit pois are best, cooked
- 2 spring onions chopped finely (optional)
- zest of 1 lemon
- a couple of handfuls about 3 heaped tablespoons each of fresh parsley and mint
- 1 egg lightly whisked
- 2 tablespoons cornflour or rice flour, if you prefer
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1/3 cup oil of your choice for frying
- Greek yoghurt & green salad optional
Mix all the ingredients (apart from the oil) together in a big bowl. With wet hands, scoop up small handfuls of mixture and shape into 12 to 15 round and flattened fritters.
Heat up the oil on a medium heat, then fry the fritters (in 2 batches if necessary) for about 3 to 5 minutes on each side or until nice and golden and crispy.
Drain on kitchen paper, then serve while still hot and crispy, with the Greek yoghurt and green leaves if you like.
I find the easiest way to cook quinoa is to add it to a saucepan with double the volume of water (so 1 cup of water for half a cup of quinoa), bring it to the boil, then cook gently for about 8 minutes. Then turn the heat off, pop a lid on your pan and let it steam dry for a couple of minutes. Finally, fluff up with a fork - your quinoa should be ready!
More fritters you might like:
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