Potato Fritters with Pea Pesto


These potato fritters are actually cooked on the stove rather than deep-fried. This method is healthier, less laborious than deep-frying and you still get all of the flavour. The crisp fritters with the nutty pesto and creamy ricotta complement each other well. They are wonderfully light and with the herbs and lemony pesto, you have yourself a lovely summery dish. It celebrates classic, humble ingredients and gives them a modern twist. I love this dish as a starter or light lunch. You can make the pesto a day in advance if you wish and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator.



For the fritters:

2 medium Desirée potatoes (weighing about 500g in total)

1 medium courgette, grated (weighing about 125g in total)

1 egg or (vegans or lacto-vegetarians may use 1 flax egg)

Salt and freshly cracked black pepper

2 tbsp fresh chopped parsley

2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese (or vegan substitute)

3 tbsp olive oil



For the pesto:

150g freshly shelled peas (or frozen peas, thawed), blanched

Handful of mint and basil

½ clove minced garlic

Juice of half a lemon

2-3 tablespoons chopped walnuts

A drizzle of olive oil

Salt and freshly cracked black pepper


Ricotta cheese and sea salt, to serve.


  1. Grate the courgette coarsely – you can do this by hand or in a food processor.
  2. Put the grated courgette in a colander or strainer and sprinkle with a tsp of salt to draw out excess moisture. Leave them to drain for around twenty minutes.
  3. While they drain, add all the pesto ingredients to a food processor and blitz until reduced to a paste. Leave to one side.
  4. Next, clean the potatoes and parboil in a saucepan with a little salt: pour just enough boiling water over them to cover the potatoes and then simmer gently for 5 minutes.
  5. Drain the potatoes and allow them to cool. You may peel the potatoes at this point if you wish, but I prefer to leave the skin on.
  6. Grate the potatoes into a large bowl and season with salt and freshly cracked black pepper.
  7. Once your courgettes have drained for the hour, squeeze out as much moisture as possible with your hands, and then spread them out on a clean tea towel. Roll it up and wring it out once more to get out as much liquid as possible. The more liquid we get rid of at this point, the crispier the fritters can be.
  8. Add the courgettes to the grated potatoes along with the egg, chopped parsley, baking powder, and cheese. Combine well.
  9. Divide the mixture into 8 and shape into rounds, approximately 6cm across and 2.5cm thick. Press them firmly together to form little cakes. They don’t have to be perfectly round; I like the rustic look.
  10. To cook them, heat a non-stick pan over a medium heat and add the olive oil to the pan.
  11. Cook the fritters until golden brown on each side, approximately 3 minutes on each side.
  12. Once cooked, transfer them to a plate lined with kitchen roll, to absorb excess oil.
  13. Serve immediately with the pea pesto and salted ricotta.




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