Pea and leek fritters: a CardioKit recipe

We continue our pattern of oats in the week and vegetable-rich eggs at the weekend

As you can tell we love vegetable-rich egg dishes at the weekend for breakfast or brunch. We love food and eating and so our philosophy is that healthy food should be primarily delicious, filling and act as vehicle to ‘fuel’ our body with appropriate ingredients (including elements which have demonstrated specific association with cardiovascular protection and risk factor reduction). Remember a healthy diet is not about restriction but insuring you eat good foods to optimise your metabolism and displace or avoid bad stuff. We also value the concept of balance —if we were totally evangelical we would tell you to eat porridge everyday for breakfast but we understand that this is not sustainable or enjoyable. Long-term success is built around variation and satisfaction — this is the only way to achieve a consistent and sustainable healthy lifestyle.

Frozen peas are amazing both in terms of taste, convenience and cardiovascular health. Specifically they are very high in fibre (one of the highest fibre containing vegetables) with around 5 g of fibre for a handful serving. You may find this surprising. 50% is soluble fibre which forms a gel in your stomach slowing the digestion of your meal and the slow release of sugars into your blood stream. This is associated with feeling fuller, (particularly if your drink a large glass of water with your meal), reducing peaks in blood sugar and improving cholesterol profiles.

You can make the fritter mix the night before and allow the flavours to mature overnight but if you want to make it just before cooking that’s also no problem. If you make extra just keep in the fridge and eat for another breakfast or lunch. You can also add prawns or salmon (pulsed in a food processor) to the mix for a protein, omega-3 rich meal (salmon better than prawns for cardiovascular health) or substitute the eggs for a piece of salmon for a super-healthy, light but filling lunch.

This breakfast was originally inspired from Pizza East in London and the recipe has been refined and developed including with reference to a recipe by the chef Yotam Ottolenghi who is excellent if you want further inspiration for healthy, vegetable-rich Mediterranean-style dishes.

For a 4 serving fritter mix:

 

  • 2 large leeks
  • 1 large continental salad onion (looks like a large spring onion)
  • 1.5 cups of frozen green garden peas or petite pois
  • 3 medium cloves of garlic (or 2 large)
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1/4 cup of wholemeal spelt flour
  • 2 whole free-range (ideally organic) eggs for the mix
  • splash of semi-skimmed milk
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh (or frozen) chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 1 teaspoon of dried ground coriander seed
  • a pinch of turmeric
  • olive oil and knob of butter
  • salt and black pepper to season
  • a cress sprinkle

Although you can finely chop the ingredients by hand, for speed and convenience most of this is prepared using a chopping food processor.

  1. Roughly chop the leek and onion. Wash thoroughly and then pulse in the food processor with the garlic until finely chopped.
  2. Add this mix to a medium hot pan with a little olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Turn the heat down and allow to cook slowly until soft and sweet.
  3. Thaw the peas with a splash of water in the microwave or pan on the stove. Then pulse in the food processor with the flat leaf parsley to roughly chop (if you are preparing by hand you can add these whole with chopped parsley). [For a hearty protein-rich meal this is the point at which you would also add prawns or salmon pieces and pulse in the food processor —don’t over blitz as you don’t want fish paste but to maintain some texture].
  4. Once the leek mix is soft and any extra liquid has evaporated leaving a silky texture you can add the peas, parsley, baking powder, coriander and turmeric to the pan. Allow to cook together for 5 minutes. It’s a good idea to taste and season the mix further at this point.
  5. Transfer the mix to a bowl to cool. Combine with the spelt flour and a splash of milk to loosen (and help the cooling process). You can reserve some of the chopped parsley and add at this point to give a fresh herb (as well as cooked herb) element.
  6. While the mix cools, separate the yolk from the white of 2 eggs. Whisk the egg white until they are aerated, fluffy and bright white.
  7. Test the vegetable mix for heat — it’s ready when you can comfortably hold your finger in the mix. Now add the egg yolks and stir in followed by the fluffy whites which need to be gently folded and combined so as to maintain the trapped air bubbles —giving the fritters a light texture.
  8. Heat a large, shallow non-stick pan with a splash of olive oil and a knob of butter for extra colour and flavour. When the butter is foaming and sizzling add islands of the mix to the pan with a large serving spoon. Turn the heat down so the fritters cook gently and don’t colour too much. When you can see the edges browning and small air bubbles forming in the top of the fritter they are ready to flip. This can be tricky but do in one quick confident movement with a fish slice or flat spatula. If they break a little don’t worry — reform them and they should stick together with the further cooking.
  9. When golden on the outside but still soft and sweet in the centre they area ready. Serve with poached eggs (or a piece of salmon) and a sprinkle of old-school cress for a fresh, peppery finish.

A brilliant and delicious breakfast or weekend brunch or lunch.

Back to top