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Recipe: Fresh pea fritters with garlic and cumin alioli

PUBLISHED: 09:13 24 July 2017 | UPDATED: 12:23 24 July 2017

Pea fritters by Charlotte Smith- Jarvis.Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Pea fritters by Charlotte Smith- Jarvis.Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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Make the most of seasonal fresh peas by making our tasty pea fritters.

We’re always being told to eat less fried food. I totally get that – and I could go for months without chips. But I also believe that a little bit of what you fancy does you good (especially if it includes vegetables).

Fried food to me (yeah alright already, I know I’m a food snob) isn’t a bag of Krispy Kremes, or a greasy dripping plate of sausages, eggs and bacon at the weekend.

It’s a medley of seafood, dusted in polenta and thrown into a vat of golden oil, then served with garlicky aioli. It’s those little fried balls of pizza dough, stuffed with mortadella sausage and fior di latte mozzarella. Or it’s the suppli of meat and rice in Rome, or croquetas of Spain, so hot you burn your tongue as the béchamel sauce rushes out.

I take inspiration from the latter this week. On a recent visit to Madrid with my girly friends we realised there’s almost nothing the Spanish won’t roll into a ball and crisp up in oil.

Here I’ve combined peas from my dad’s allotment (in abundance at the moment) with Marriage’s flour, seasoning, lemon zest and a heart of creamy, earthy Baron Bigod cheese from Fen Farm Dairy.

Alongside them is a Moorish cumin and garlic alioli made with a combination of sunflower and local rapeseed oil. And this goes with everything! In fact, it makes a darn good sandwich smothered over leftover pork and roasted fennel in crusty bread.

Pea and brie fritters with cumin garlic alioli

(Makes 8)

Ingredients

150g fresh podded peas, blitzed in a food processor

150g self-raising flour

1/4tsp baking powder

1 crushed clove garlic

1 large egg

Zest of 1 lemon

Seasoning

100g Baron Bigod or other brie-like cheese

Oil for frying

Flour for rolling

For the dip

2 large egg yolks

1.5tsps cider vinegar

1 cup half sunflower oil half rapeseed oil

1tbsp lightly crushed cumin seeds

1 clove crushed garlic

Seasoning

Method

Make the alioli first. Combine the egg, vinegar, garlic and cumin seeds. Add the oil, drop by drop, whisking all the time until it’s all combined and emulsified. Place in a bowl in the fridge.

To make the fritters mix the peas and flour. Add the egg, baking powder, zest, garlic and a few pinches of salt and pepper. Add a tablespoon of cold water.

Separate into eight pieces. Cut eight pieces of brie about 1cm each and place one in the centre of each piece of mixture. Roll into balls and coat in flour.

Bring a small pan of oil to 180C and fry the balls in batches until golden.

Place on a baking tray and finish in the oven at 190C for eight minutes until cooked through. Serve with the dip. A few slices of Spanish ham over the top is nice too (if you’re not a veggie).

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