Peter Gordon's tasty cheese and mushroom fritter recipe can be made with most types of firm cheese depending on your preference, and makes an excellent vegetarian main meal. The fritters are served with escalivada, a Catalan vegetable dish that is best eaten a day or so after it has been made.
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Begin by making the escalivada. Grill the peppers, tomatoes and aubergine on a char-grill - without oil - until softened, and their skin begins to blacken and blister. Ensure the aubergine in particular has fully softened. Place into a bowl, cover tightly with clingfilm and leave to cool
2 red peppers
2 tomatoes, large
1 aubergine, pricked 10 times
On the same char-grill, cook the onions on a high heat until nicely charred and softened on both sides, and the spring onions until they begin to blacken. Leave the onions to cool, removing any badly blackened pieces while they are still warm
2 red onions, sliced into 0.5cm rings
6 spring onions, white parts only
Once the pepper, tomatoes and aubergine have cooled, remove the skins and stalks and slice them in half. Remove the seeds from the peppers and cut the halves into strips, then chop the tomatoes into chunks and combine in a bowl
Gently squeeze the aubergine halves to remove any excess moisture, then thinly slice crossways and add to the peppers and tomatoes
Combine the garlic with the lemon juice and zest and add to the vegetables, mixing well. Slice the red and spring onions into smaller pieces and combine with the other vegetables along with the olive oil and herbs. Season to taste, and set aside until required. If leaving the escalivada in the fridge overnight before serving, remember to remove it the next day in good time, as the dish is served at room temperature
4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely grated
1/2 tsp lemon zest, finely grated
2 tbsp of lemon juice
4 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
2 2/3 handfuls of basil leaves, torn
2 2/3 handfuls of mint leaves, torn
For the fritters, heat vegetable oil in a deep fat fryer until it reaches 180˚C
vegetable oil, for deep frying
Meanwhile, sift the polenta, flour, salt, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and sugar together into a bowl, then mix in the coriander seeds
70g of flour
100g of polenta
1 tsp fine salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/3 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp of coriander seeds, roasted and ground
In a separate bowl whisk together the yoghurt, olive oil, water, egg and garlic. Mix in the spring onions, basil, shiitake mushrooms and diced cheese, before combining thoroughly with the flour mixture. Leave to rest for 10 minutes
350g of plain yoghurt, thick
2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
4 tbsp of water
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 spring onions, thinly sliced
2 2/3 handfuls of basil leaves, torn
150g of shiitake mushroom, stems removed and caps thinly sliced
200g of halloumi, feta, cheddar, Emmental or other firm cheese, diced
Drop quenelles of the mixture into the hot oil, making sure not to overcrowd the fryer. Cook the fritters for about 4 minutes, turning them regularly to ensure they cook evenly
Remove the fritters from the fryer and leave to drain on kitchen paper in a warm place. Cook the rest of the fritters in the same way, then serve with the escalivada
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