Quinoa Fritters with Green Goddess Sauce
A new book from Claire Thomson (aka Five o'clock Apron) is always a treat and New Kitchen Basics is no exception. Like all Claire's books it manages to be both practical and inspirational with recipes you can fit in with daily life but which give your cooking a real lift. And they work too. This she describes as 'bombproof'!
"Quinoa is a brilliant and speedy ingredient for the kitchen. Tender when cooked, with a delicate white furl of a tail, it has a nutty, satisfying taste. Mixed here with eggs, feta and herbs, and fried as a fritter, the cooked quinoa provides some welcome ballast to a dish that is bombproof.
I’m a sucker for a striking name, and it doesn’t come much better than Green Goddess – a pungent mayonnaise-based sauce made intensely green with masses of herbs and spring onions (scallions). I’ve supplemented some of the mayonnaise with yogurt to lighten the result.
200g (7oz) quinoa
100g (31⁄2oz) shop-bought or homemade mayonnaise
100g (31⁄2oz) Greek yogurt, crème fraîche or sour cream
big bunch of at-leaf parsley, leaves picked and finely chopped
small bunch of mint, leaves picked and finely chopped
1 bunch of spring onions (scallions), very finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
zest of 1 unwaxed lime or 1 small unwaxed lemon, plus a squeeze of juice
100g (31⁄2oz) feta cheese, crumbled
1 teaspoon ground cumin
50g (13⁄4oz) plain (all-purpose) flour
vegetable oil, for frying
chilli flakes, to serve (optional)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Cook the quinoa in 500ml (17 oz) salted water for about 15 minutes, or until the water has been absorbed and the quinoa is tender. Spread out the cooked quinoa on a large plate or tray to cool.
Mix the mayonnaise and yogurt with half the herbs, half the spring onions (scallions), half the garlic and a squeeze of lime or lemon juice. Check the seasoning, adding salt and pepper to taste.
Mix the cooled quinoa with the remaining herbs, spring onions and garlic, the eggs, feta, cumin, lime or lemon zest and flour. Season with salt and pepper.
Heat about 4cm (11⁄2in) of oil in a non-stick frying pan over a high heat. Drop tablespoons of the fritter batter into the hot oil and fry, in batches, for 3–4 minutes on each side, until golden and crisp. Keep each batch warm while you cook the remainder.
Season the fritters with a little more salt and pepper, or use chilli flakes if you like, and serve warm with the Green Goddess sauce and the leftover lime or lemon.
What to drink: Any crisp dry white would work. I'd probably go for a sauvignon blanc myself.
From New Kitchen Basics by Claire Thomson (Quadrille, £25) Photography: Sam Folan
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