Pea Croquettes with Spicy tomato relish

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I was watching Michel Roux on the BBC Food and Drink programme the other week and he made some chicken croquettes with a tomato relish – they sounded like just the kind of dish I could do something with! Apparently it’s a traditional way to use up left-over chicken in France, but here I’ve swapped it for peas and plenty of black pepper (a combination I think really works). The relish is like a speedy tomato chutney spiced up with smoked paprika (and chilli if you like). We ate these for Sunday lunch and it made a wonderfully satisfying and comforting meal. The girls were originally rather suspicious of the ‘bits’ in the croquettes, but soon changed their minds. This will definitely become a winter family staple – thank you Michel for the inspiration 🙂

Pea Croquettes (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)

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Serves 4 (makes about 12 croquettes)

  • 6 medium potatoes
  • 2 tbsps dairy-free spread
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen peas, lightly cooked
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 slices of stale bread, whizzers into breadcrumbs

– Cook and mash the potatoes (I like to bake them and then rice the insides as it makes the mash very dry and fluffy and totally lump free!)
– Stir in the spread to make a silky, but not wet mash.
– Add the peas and season well with salt and plenty of ground pepper. Taste
– Whilst its still warm, roll the mix into neat cylinders.
– Roll in the breadcrumbs to fully coat (I find if you do this while the potato is warm, then there is no need for the usual flour, egg, breadcrumb combo)
– Place in the fridge for half an hour.
– Shallow fry in sunflower oil until golden on all sides, then transfer to the oven for 10 minutes to fully warm though

Spicy Tomato Relish (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan)

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  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, chopped
  • 1 large handful of cherry tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 dried chilli, crushed
  • Salt and pepper

– SautĂ© the shallot and garlic until fragrant but not coloured
– Add the tomatoes, sugar, smoked paprika and vinegar. Season with a little salt and pepper
– Simmer gently for 10 minutes until jammy and chutney like.
– Allow to cool, then taste and adjust the seasoning if required.
– Serve at room temperature.

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Spring Vegetable Tartlets

Tarts or quiches are such a useful summer dish – perfect for a light lunch, a centre piece to be served with an array of salads or on a picnic. Most recipes, however, use eggs and/or cream and so don’t work for us.

This recipe is fast – no pastry to make, just sliced bread rolled thin and cut to fit a cupcake tray. The ingredients for the filling are bound together with egg-free mayo and dairy-free cheese. It’s a snap to make but still looks impressive and is very tasty. Those eating bland quiche may well be rather envious! Obviously can be adapted for any veg really.

Spring Vegetable Tartlets (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan) N.B. contains soya in the mayonnaise

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makes 8

  • 4 slices of bread
  • 2tbsps olive oil
  • 1 cup peas, fresh or frozen
  • 10 asparagus spears, cut into 1cm lengths
  • 6 tbsps egg-free mayo
  • 8 mint leaves, finely sliced
  • 1/4 cup dairy-free cheese, i used Veganic
  • seasoning

– Preheat the oven to 200 degrees centigrade/gas mark 6
– Roll out the bread and use a pastry cutter to cut circles to fill the cupcake tray
– Blanch the peas and asparagus for 4 minutes and then refresh in icy water
– Drain and dry the veg and then combine with the mayo, mint and cheese. Taste and season.
– Brush the cupcake holes with oil and press in the bread circles
– Pile in the filling
– Bake for 15-20 minutes
– Cool
– Eat warm or at room temperature

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Fresh Pea Hummus

This idea is inspired by a sandwich I had in Pret a Manger the other day (I do have a fondness for their sandwiches) which featured pea hummus and feta and was really fresh, summery and different. Anyway, it got me thinking about making a pea hummus to eat with crudites and pitta strips – as I’ve mentioned before Little S is allergic to sesame so commercial hummus is out of the question and I’ve never made a good tahini-free version – hopefully they’ll like this as much as me and enjoy it for a summery post-swimming supper!

Pea Hummus (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, peanut-free, sesame-free, soya-free, gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan)

makes a bowlful

  • 250g frozen peas
  • 3 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsps lemon juice
  • 1/4-1/2 clove of garlic, minced (or more if you like garlic a lot!)
  • good pinch of salt and grind of pepper
  • Optional: sprig of mint, finely chopped or 1/2 red chilli, finely chopped

– Defrost the peas by running under a warm tap.

– Place in a food processor with the garlic and puree, adding the oil and lemon as the machine is running.

– Season and then pulse again until as smooth as possible

– Check the seasoning ( you do need a fair amount of salt and lemon to counteract the sweetness of the peas)

– Serve, drizzled with extra olive oil

– Optional: add a sprig of fresh mint, finely chopped while the machine is running. Or possibly a little fresh red chilli.