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Chilli broad bean fritters with homemade labneh

A light lunch or dinner party starter of falafel-like patties served over labneh, a creamy Middle-Eastern strained yogurt cheese

  • Prep: 1 hrs
    Cook: 35 mins
    plus 1 day straining and at least 1 hr chilling
  • Serves 4 as a starter or light lunch
  • A challenge
  • Serves 4 as a starter or light lunch
  • A challenge
  • Calories 365
  • Carbohydrates 21
  • Saturated Fat 5
  • Sugar 6
  • Protein 15
  • Fat 22
  • Fibre 11
  • Salt 0.5

Nutrition per serving

  • Calories 365
  • Carbohydrates 21
  • Saturated Fat 5
  • Sugar 6
  • Protein 15
  • Fat 22
  • Fibre 11
  • Salt 0.5

Ingredients

  • 450g pot goat's milk yogurt
  • sunflower or vegetable oil, for frying
  • plain flour, for dusting
  • 600g broad beans (or 1¼kg in their pods), skinned (see 'tip' for how to prepare)
  • small bunch mint, roughly chopped
  • small bunch parsley, roughly chopped
  • small bunch dill, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp self-raising flour, plus a little for dusting
  • 1 red chilli (deseeded if you don’t like it too hot), roughly chopped
  • zest 1 lemon
  • 2 small garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp ground allspice
  • ½ tsp sumac
  • 200g broad beans (or 450g in their pods), skinned (see 'tip' for how to prepare)
  • 100g peas, defrosted if frozen, blanched if fresh
  • juice 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to serve
  • handful pea shoots
  • ½ red chilli, deseeded and finely sliced
  • 1-2 radishes, finely sliced

Tip

Preparing broad beans and peas
If you’re lucky enough to get hold of fresh beans and peas, pop open the pods and remove the beans and peas inside. Blanch the veg by pouring over a kettle full of boiling water, leave to sit for 30 seconds to 1 minute, then drain and run under the cold tap. This will help the beans and peas to retain their bright green colour and a little bite. Broad beans have a thick outer skin, so once blanched, split the skin with your nail and squeeze out the bean inside.

Use whey to make bread
Save the liquid that drips from your yogurt (the whey) to make a tasty loaf. Simply replace some of the liquid in your recipe with the whey to add a deliciously sour note to your bread.

Labneh
Labneh is a Middle-Eastern strained yogurt cheese that is easy to make at home. Any leftovers are delicious spread on seeded toast with a drizzle of honey.

Method

  1. Make the labneh 1-2 days ahead – the earlier you make it, the richer it will be. Season the yogurt with a good pinch of salt. Line a sieve with a large piece of clean muslin or a J-cloth, suspended over a bowl. Tip the yogurt into the sieve, pull the sides of the muslin up to encase the yogurt, twist and tie with a piece of string. Strain in the fridge for 1-2 days. The liquid from the yogurt (called whey) will drip into the bowl, leaving you with a thick, spreadable yogurt called labneh – see below for using up the whey.

  2. To make the fritters, put the ingredients in a food processor, season and blend until smooth. Using 2 dessertspoons, scoop and shape the mixture into 16 quenelle shapes – or roll with floured hands. Place on a plate and chill for at least 1 hr, or cover loosely with cling film and chill for 24 hrs.

  3. When you’re ready to serve, heat at least 6cm oil in a wide, deep pan and turn the oven to a low heat, ready to keep the fritters warm. The oil is ready when a piece of bread dropped into the oil sizzles and turns brown within 30-40 secs (if the oil is too cool, the fritters will fall apart). Dust the fritters with a little flour and roll around the plate to coat the outside. Carefully lower 4-6 into the pan at a time and cook in batches, for 5-6 mins, until deep golden brown. Drain on a plate lined with kitchen paper and sprinkle with salt. Put the fritters in the oven while you cook the next batch.

  4. While the fritters cook, mix the broad beans, peas, lemon juice, olive oil and some seasoning for the salad. To serve, spread a little labneh across the middle of each plate. Add 4 fritters, and spoon a little of the salad around. Top with a few pea shoots, a sprinkling of chilli, a few slices of radish and a drizzle of olive oil.

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