Monday, 18 June 2012

Tales of Mixery & Imagination

Insalata Mista di Portulacca, Fritelle di Farina di Ceci, Funghi & Patate Dolce
Mixed Salad of Portulac, Chick Pea & Rosemary Fritters, Sweet Potato and Mushrooms

I was in a strange mood tonight, wanting to have a "Meatless Monday", but at the same time not really knowing what I should fix for myself. I had the last few Birch mushrooms from the other night, but didn't feel they would be enough to "jazz up" my salad... so it was time to improvise again- which is just what I did!

I cut myself a nice slice of sweet potato and chopped it down into bite-sized chunks, which were delicious of course... but the cool thing I came up with were the little gram flour fritters- which really made this into something special!

To make the fritters, I simply stirred together 7-8 tablespoons of chick pea flour with 1 cup of water into a smooth paste- about the same consistency as a pancake batter. I added cumin seeds, salt, pepper, lemon juice, nutmeg, a little cayenne and finely chopped rosemary. Great combination! I let the batter sit for a few minutes whilst I fried the sweet potatoes and mushrooms.

I used a tablespoon each of clarified butter and sesame oil to fry the mushrooms and potatoes, adding a little finely chopped garlic for some extra flavor. I seasoned with salt and pepper and kept things simple- there was already enough going on in the combination of ingredients I had going this evening!

Once the vegetables were done, I set them to one side and then spooned the batter into the frying pan to make the fritters. There was still enough oil coating the pan and the gram flour tends not to stick anyway. I used 2 tablespoons per fritter and fried them for 2-3 minutes from each side. Once they were firm and easy to flip over in the pan, I added the mushrooms and sweet potato again to bring them back up to temperature , then turned off the heat and began laying out the lovely, thick-stemmed portulac lettuce out.

I made sure to cover it evenly with the fritters, potatoes and mushrooms, added a sprinkle of raw but finely chopped green onions and then spooned over the top a little yogurt, drizzled it with sesame oil and honey and then gave it a finishing touch of balsamic glaze... and oh wow what an explosion of flavor! The nutty and chewy fritters, sweet potatoes and mild and delicate mushrooms went so well with the creamy yogurt, sweet honey and tangy Balsamico... I just know you are going to love this one! Every bit as much as I did!

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