Monday, May 2, 2011

Leek fritters by the amazing Ottolenghi

I've been searching for lighter meals lately, probably to counteract the stodgy winter food I'm partial to. The first step in reducing stodge for me is to cut out the amount of meat. This is harder than it sounds, due to having to cook for someone who loves their meat and complains that something "doesn't taste right" when it's meatless, then makes himself a massive ham and blue cheese sandwich for dessert. 

A way to get around this habit is to i) complain loud and long, that "it's a bit rude when I've spent ages cooking this" *loud sigh*, and ii) make something that is so tasty and satisfying that any thought of cholesterol-laden sandwich desserts flies out the window.

These amazing leek fritters fit the bill on both counts. The recipe is from the equally amazing Yotam Ottolenghi, and they are fluffy like pancakes but with a spicy hit from the chilli and rich flavour from the cumin, turmeric and cinnamon. The best thing was the question "Mmm, are there any more?" after the first bite.

Leek Fritters
serves 2-3

2 medium leeks, trimmed and washed
4 green onions, finely chopped
100ml olive oil
1 long red chilli, deseeded and sliced
1/4 cup parsley leaves, finely chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg, separated
1 whole egg
100g plain flour
1 tblsp baking powder
100ml milk
30g unsalted butter, melted

1.  Cut leeks into 2cm (1in) thick slices.  Saute the green onions and leeks in a pan with half the oil on medium heat for 10 minutes, or until soft. Transfer to a large bowl and add the chilli, parsley, cumin, cinnamon, turmeric, sugar and salt.  Allow to cool.

2.  Whisk the egg white to soft peaks and fold it into the vegetables. 

3.  In another bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, remaining egg yolk, whole egg, milk and butter to for a batter. Gently mix it into the egg white and vegetable mixture.

4.  Put 2 tablespoons of the remaining oil into a large frying pan and place over a medium heat.  Spoon about half of the vegetable mixture into the pan to make 4 large fritters. Fry them for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until golden and crisp.  Remove to a plate lined with paper towel and keep warm. Add more oil to the pan, if needed, and repeat with the remaining batter. This amount should make about 8 fritters.

5.  Serve warm with a squeeze of lemon or a sauce made by mixing Greek yoghurt, parsley and garlic.

recipe adapted from Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi

Ingredients, including leeks, green onions, spices (cinnamon, turmeric and cumin), eggs, red chilli and flour + baking powder

The leeks are cooked till soft, then mixed with whipped egg whites before being incorporated with the flour and milk to form a batter. The fritters may look sloppy, but they firm up beautifully as they cook (keep an eye on the underside to ensure they don't brown too much)

Serve the fritters with a dollop of yoghurt and parsley sauce.

These fritters are light as air, and very easy to eat!


  1. ottolenghi never fails to surprise me with his genius...I was dubious of the deliciousness of these fritters until you talked about those spices!

  2. Looks yummy - I would love this for brunch right now...!

  3. Ooo these look amazing!!! So perfect for a Sunday brunch :-)

  4. I have been meaning to but this cookbook but you have just reminded me I need to get on BD to get it. Sounds wonderful and love the clean flavour.

  5. I make fritters with lot of things .. never really thought of leeks .. Thanks for sharing this beautiful idea :)

  6. Haha I know the feeling! Stud wont even have napolitana pasta sauce. Its bolognaise or nothing lol.
    These look so tasty :) very fresh and vibrant. Will have to see if I can sneak it past him.

  7. These sure sound 'healthy' enough to indulge with but not lacking in the flavour department. I'd be asking for an extra serve!

  8. How I love Ottolenghi's recipes, I have both of his books! These are so yummy!

  9. I always turn to fritters when I don't feel like eating meat :) These leek fritters look delicious! And that's one long ingredients list! haha....I can imagine how great they taste!

  10. This looks absolutely delicious! Thank you so much for sharing :D

  11. I love the colours of the entire set up, including the presentation of the raw stuff! Plus these fritters are also shaped so perfect for photography! :) Argh I can't imagine when I can master that to take these lovely snacks :P

  12. Leeks are awesome and so are fritters so it makes perfect sense to bang em together :)

    Um, I am pretty much in love with the idea of a ham and blue cheese toasty for dessert though. Ooh, it's just clicked over to midnight, I could legitimately have a midnight snack toasty!! Or um, I mean, midnight snack fritters!

  13. This sounds like exactly what want for dinner tonight!

  14. Leeks are such a great ingredient! Can't wait to try these with the lovely addition of turmeric! Great color!

  15. Yum, this is screaming out for some cajun chilli sauce :)

  16. This has also worked on my husband at trying to get him to not eat meat....he LOVED it!! Such great photos of the fritters <3

  17. Great looking fritters, I have never had leek in fritters. Have you ever had sweet corn fritters? They are great too.

  18. I always think of soup when I see leeks so I'm excited to think of the fritter possibilities. A great idea! And I love that sexy dollop shot too.

  19. Those leek fritters look terrific!

  20. I love this! Great... I shall have to make this instead of my usual corn fritters.

  21. I bet there were no sandwiches made after this meal! ;)

  22. Did he sound like "Can I have come more?" LOL Love it. Fritters rock!

  23. Never thought of using leeks in fritters. It's always chives or corn. Sounds great!

  24. I have no doubt these fritters are tasty with an explosion of flavors. Can't wait to try this recipe.

  25. Those fritters look incredible! I have to try this one :)

  26. Fritters have to be my favourite breakfast. I've been hinting to my husband for mother's day this Sunday. Maybe I should keep this page open? Fingers crossed?

  27. those look delicious :) nice blog