Spinach fritters with anchovy aïoli
- June 2013
- Serves 4
- Hands on time 1 hour 10 mins, cook time 20 mins, plus chilling
These light spinach and ricotta fritters are served with homemade aïoli for dipping. They’d made a wonderful starter or nibble at a drinks party – plus, they look super impressive when arranged on a plate!
Take a look at our best starter recipes for lots more inspiration.
- Vegetarian recipes
- 49g (13.1g saturated)
- 26.4g (4.3g sugars)
- 100g ricotta
- 10g butter
- 800g spinach, washed, dried, large stalks removed
- 3 medium free-range egg yolks
- ½ tsp grated nutmeg
- ½ tsp salt
- 75g finely grated parmesan
- Sunflower oil for deep-frying
- 25g plain flour
- 2 medium free-range eggs, beaten
- 100g Japanese panko crumbs or day-old white breadcrumbs
For the mild anchovy aioli…
- 4 small garlic cloves (new season garlic if possible)
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 anchovy fillets in olive oil, drained, plus 1 to garnish (optional)
- 1 medium free-range egg yolk
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 180ml extra-virgin olive oil
- If your ricotta is wet, put in a sieve lined with muslin, cover with a saucer, put a tin can on top and drain for at least 2 hours or overnight in the fridge.
- Melt the butter in a large pan and, as soon as it’s foaming, add the spinach a handful at a time, letting it wilt down before adding the next handful. When all the spinach has wilted into the bottom of the pan, tip it into a colander and press out all the liquid. Leave to cool slightly.
- Put the spinach into a food processor with the ricotta, egg yolks, nutmeg, salt and some black pepper, then blend to a coarse paste. Stir in the parmesan. Shape the mixture into 16 barrel-shaped fritters. Put on a baking tray, cover with cling film, then chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours to firm up.
- For the aioli, put the garlic cloves on a chopping board and flatten them under the blade of a large cook’s knife. Sprinkle them with the salt and crush with the blade of the knife into a smooth paste, adding the anchovy fillets to the board towards the end of the crushing process so they mix with the garlic. Scoop the mixture into a mixing bowl, then add the egg yolk and lemon juice. Using an electric hand mixer, gradually whisk in the olive oil to make a thick, mayonnaise-like mixture. Chill until needed.
- To cook the fritters, heat the sunflower oil for deep-frying to 180°C (a cube of bread will turn brown in 30 seconds when dropped in). Dip the fritters one at a time into the flour, then the beaten egg, then the breadcrumbs, making sure they have a good, even coating. Deep-fry, in batches, for 5 minutes until hot all the way through, golden and crunchy. Drain briefly on plenty of kitchen paper and eat warm with the anchovy aioli (topped with an anchovy fillet, if you like).
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