Shiitake mushroom and cheese fritters with escalivada

servings4
1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients

For the fritters

  • 35g of flour
  • 1/2 tsp fine salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 pinch of bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp of coriander seeds, roasted and ground
  • 175g of plain yoghurt, thick
  • 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp of water
  • 1 small egg
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 spring onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 handful of basil leaves, torn
  • 100g of halloumi, feta, cheddar, Emmental or other firm cheese, diced
  • 75g of shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and caps thinly sliced

Escalivada

  • 2 red peppers
  • 2 large tomatoes
  • 1 aubergine, pricked 10 times
  • 2 red onions, sliced into 5mm rings
  • 6 spring onions, white parts only
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely grated
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest, finely grated
  • 2 tbsp of lemon juice
  • 4 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 handful of basil leaves, torn
  • 1 handful of mint leaves, torn
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

To garnish

  • chives, finely chopped
  • pea shoots

Method

1
To make the escalivada, grill the peppers, tomatoes and aubergine on a dry griddle pan until the skins blacken and blister and the flesh softens – ensure the aubergine in particular is very tender. Place in a bowl, cover tightly with cling film and leave to cool
  • 2 red peppers
  • 2 large tomatoes
  • 1 aubergine, pricked 10 times
2
In the same pan, cook the onions and spring onions over a high heat until the onions are charred and softened and the spring onions begin to blacken. Leave to cool, removing any badly blackened pieces while still warm
  • 2 red onions, sliced into 5mm rings
  • 6 spring onions, white parts only
3
Once the pepper, tomatoes and aubergine have cooled, remove the skins and stalks and slice in half. Remove the seeds from the peppers and cut into strips. Chop the tomatoes into chunks and combine in a bowl with the peppers. Squeeze the aubergine to remove any excess moisture, then thinly slice and add to the peppers and tomatoes
4
Combine the garlic with the lemon zest and juice and add to the vegetables. Slice the red and spring onions into smaller pieces and combine with the vegetables along with the olive oil and herbs. Season to taste and set aside until required
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely grated
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest, finely grated
  • 2 tbsp of lemon juice
  • 4 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 handful of basil leaves, torn
  • 1 handful of mint leaves, torn
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
5
When ready to cook the fritters, preheat a deep-fryer or deep pan of oil to 180°C
6
Sift the polenta, flour, salt, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and sugar together into a bowl, then mix in the ground coriander seeds
  • 35g of flour
  • 1/2 tsp fine salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 pinch of bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp of coriander seeds, roasted and ground
7
Whisk together the yoghurt, olive oil, water, egg and garlic in a separate bowl. Mix in the spring onion, basil, mushrooms and cheese before combining with the flour mixture. Leave to rest for 10 minutes
  • 175g of plain yoghurt, thick
  • 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp of water
  • 1 small egg
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 spring onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 handful of basil leaves, torn
  • 100g of halloumi, feta, cheddar, Emmental or other firm cheese, diced
  • 75g of shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and caps thinly sliced
8
Drop quenelles of the mixture into the hot oil in batches to avoid overcrowding. Cook for about 4 minutes, turning regularly to ensure they cook evenly. Remove the fritters from the fryer and leave to drain on kitchen paper in a warm place
9
Serve with the escalivada and garnish with the chives and pea shoots
  • chives, finely chopped
  • pea shoots