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Potato and Asparagus Fritters with Cheese, Chilli and Mint


1 lb/455 g asparagus
4 oz/115 g Manouri cheese
cup/50 g grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1 medium Yukon gold potato, boiled and mashed
1 egg, beaten
2 tbsp bread crumbs
1 tbsp chopped fresh mint
1 tsp crushed dried red chillies
1 tbsp all-purpose/plain flour
Freshly cracked black pepper
Canola or grapeseed oil, for frying


Makes: 24


Trim the asparagus of any woody ends. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Blanch the asparagus for 3 to 5 minutes, depending on the size, until cooked but still firm. Shock the asparagus in a bowl of ice water and then quickly remove and drain well. Pat dry and set out for a few minutes to dry further. Cut the cooked asparagus into medium dice and place in a medium mixing bowl. Add both cheeses, the mashed potato, egg, bread crumbs, mint, chillies, flour and a few grindings of pepper. Mix well and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes. Heat about 2 cups/480 ml canola oil in a large, shallow frying pan until hot but not smoking. Form the asparagus batter into small walnut-size balls and fry in the oil for 2 to 3 minutes, or until deep golden brown. Drain well on brown paper bags or paper towels. Serve hot or at room temperature.

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