What can I say, it’s high time to post an Ottolenghi recipe. And while it’s never easy to choose from his recipes (they all look so good!), the leek fritters were exactly what I was craving the day I made them, so there wasn’t much hick hack this time over what to choose.
They take a little bit of preparation, that’s true, but are well worth it. More time in the kitchen, more time to unwind, right? At least, that’s how I see it.
Many of Ottolenghi’s recipes require the same spices, so get them once and you’re set to cook your way through the book. Most of them (at least all of the ones in this recipe) are available in the supermarket nowadays.
Have the fritters as a meze or for lunch with a salad on the side. The sauce will make an equally good dressing for the salad. If you want to leave away the sauce, Ottolenghi suggests a simple squeeze of lemon or lime juice.
Without further ado, I let the leek fritters speak for themselves now…
Slightly adapted from Ottolenghi’s Plenty
Makes 8 large fritters, serves 4
3-4 leeks (450g in total, trimmed weight)
5 shallots, finely chopped
150ml olive oil
1 fresh chilli, deseeded and sliced
25g parsley (leaves and fine stalks), finely chopped
¾ teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon ground turmeric (curcuma)
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt (when you’re using coarse salt, put a bit more, about ¾ teaspoon)
1 free-range egg white
120g self-raising flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 free-range egg
55g unsalted butter, melted
For the sauce:
100g Greek yoghurt
50g soured cream
1 small garlic clove, crushed
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
20g parsley leaves, chopped
30g coriander leaves, chopped
First, prepare the sauce by blitzing all the ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Set aside.
Cut the leeks lengthwise open and wash thoroughly (there is usually quite some dirt hidden between the layers), pat dry and cut into 2cm thick slices. Heat half of the olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat and sauté the leeks and shallots for 15 minutes, or until soft. Place in a big mixing bowl and add the chilli, parsley, spices, sugar and salt. Leave to cool down, at least until luke warm.
Wisk the egg white to soft peaks and fold into the leek mixture. In another bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, whole egg, milk and butter with a wooden spoon until smooth. Carefully mix into the vegetables.
Heat 2 tablespoons of the remaining olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Spoon half of the mixture into the pan to make four large fritters. Slightly pat down with the back of the spoon. Fry them for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown. Place on kitchen paper and keep warm, while you continue with the second batch of four fritters. Add a little oil to the pan if needed. Serve warm with the sauce or a squeeze of lemon or lime juice.