Vegetarian Stilton, Walnut and Celery Fritter Salad

‘Vegetarian’ isn’t a word that springs to mind when you think of traditional Yorkshire food, but there’s plenty for non meat eaters to tuck into if you have a rummage around. I think that these vegetarian stilton, walnut and celery fritters might be my favourite so far.

Stilton, Walnut and Celery Fritters

 

I came across the recipe for the fritters in Joan Poulson’s excellent Yorkshire Cookery (1979), and she credits The Black Swan Hotel, Helmsley, for giving it to her. 40 years later, I don’t see these fritters on their menu so you’re probably just going to have to make them yourself.

Celery and walnuts are a classic pairing, most obviously in a Waldorf Salad. I’ve taken that idea and run with it by pairing these fritters with apple and gem lettuce (as well as pomegranate seeds in place of grapes) in a simple salad. The mustard dressing adds a nice little punch to round the dish out.

Ms Poulson recommends just serving them with some tomato pickle or chutney, though. Having tried them with Yorkshire Grub’s own tomato chutney I can happily second the suggestion if you’re looking for an interesting side dish or starter.

If you’re looking for vegetarian recipes, have a look at the rest of Yorkshire Grub’s veggie selection. It’s actually our busiest category, with recipes ranging from blackberry ketchup to Keighley cheese muffins with perfect poached eggs to the Norse-influenced cake, moggy.

As I said earlier, ‘vegetarian’ isn’t the most obvious description of traditional Yorkshire food. But at its heart, old Yorkshire cooking is about elevating affordable, humble ingredients with simple, workaday cooking. And it doesn’t get much more thrifty than fruit and veg, especially when you work in an agrarian economy.

The old Yorkshire cook’s repertoire included easy veggie wins like cakes and sweet puddings, but there are plenty of other recipes that can be used in vegetarian cooking, like this crusty cheese bake or numerous savoury puddings.

Which is all, I suppose, a slightly roundabout way of saying: more vegetarian food to come!

A quick note on the breadcrumbs coating the fritters – I used sourdough because it came to hand. As sourdough’s a tough bread it blends down to quite chunky breadcrumbs, which created a nice crunchy texture. It’s worth not making your breadcrumbs too fine if you can avoid it. If you can’t, though, don’t worry!

Print Recipe
Vegetarian Stilton, Walnut and Celery Fritter Salad
These vegetarian stilton, walnut and celery fritters are great served as a main course with a salad, or as a starter or side with some tomato chutney.
Stilton, Celery and Walnut Fritters
Cuisine Yorkshire
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 4 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Stilton, Walnut and Celery Fritters
Salad
Cuisine Yorkshire
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 4 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Stilton, Walnut and Celery Fritters
Salad
Stilton, Celery and Walnut Fritters
Instructions
  1. Heat a couple of inches of oil in a deep pan over a medium-high heat. It's hot enough when you can drop in a chunk of potato and it immediately floats and sizzles.
  2. While that's warming up, grate your Stilton into a mixing bowl. Add the walnuts, celery, mixed herbs (or some chopped fresh herbs, if you have them), and a good pinch of salt and pepper.
  3. Add a little of the beaten egg - enough to wet the mixture so that you can roll it into small balls (you should get six to eight).
  4. Scatter your plain flour over a plate or chopping board, then take your balls and coat them first in flour, then more of the beaten egg, then the breadcrumbs.
  5. Deep fry your fritters for around four minutes, until crisp and golden, being careful not to overcook them.
  6. Once they're done, remove from the pan and drain on some kitchen paper for a couple of minutes.
The Salad
  1. For the salad, first mix together your olive oil, lemon juice, mustard and some seasoning. (An easy way to do this is to put the lot into a clean jar and shake it vigorously).
  2. Roughly tear your lettuce onto two plates. Arrange the slices of apple over it, then place three or four fritters on top. Take your half pomegranate and loosely hold it over each salad in turn, giving it a good smack with a spoon to scatter the seeds over each plate. Drizzle with the dressing and serve.
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