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I hadn't had a potato croquette in years. They are such a treat - crispy, golden breadcrumbs with a soft mashed potato filling, dunked into ketchup, of course. I was experimenting recently with some totally more-ish dried peas coated in all your favourite crisp flavours from the cheekily named Taking the Pea, (you may have read about them in my Pea & Wasabi Vegan Mayo post).
Blitzing them into crumbs and using them in place of breadcrumbs seemed like an idea worth working on, with their punchy flavours, protein content and fabulous crunch making them a fine replacement in this much-loved recipe.
But I couldn't leave the filling as just plain potato.... oh no. Leftover mash and fresh green peas are squashed together with some fresh basil, pine nuts, garlic and vegan parmesan or nutritional yeast to create a punchy pesto flavour which goes perfectly with potato and peas.
I used Taking The Pea's Sweet Chilli Salsa flavour peas here for the crispy coating, and the little kick of heat was really good with the creamy potato filling. But you could use any of their flavours - Wacky Wasabi and even Smoked Ham are also vegan (if you can excuse the rather non-vegan piggy picture on the front of the packet, it is actually one of my favourites!).
These little croquettes would make perfect picnic food, they are very portable and just as good cold as hot. Or if the weather is a little dubious (as usual), have them for dinner with some green salad and a dipping bowl of ketchup. Yum!
They also freeze well - why not make up a double batch, and part-cook those you want to freeze. Freeze them on a baking tray, then put in freezer bags to save space. Just defrost and cook them through in the oven when required.
Pea, Potato & Pesto Croquettes
- 300 g mashed potato
- 100 g cooked peas
- large bunch fresh basil chopped
- 2 tbsp pine nuts chopped
- 3 tbsp vegan parmesan or nutritional yeast flakes (optional)
- 2 tsp ready-chopped garlic / garlic purée
- 5 tbsp chickpea flour (gram flour)
- 100 g breadcrumbs or Sweet Chilli Dried Peas blitzed into crumbs
- plain flour for dusting
- sunflower oil for frying
- In a large bowl, mix together the potato, peas, basil, pine nuts, vegan parmesan/nutritional yeast and garlic.
- Tip the chickpea (gram) flour into a shallow bowl and mix to a paste with 5 tbsp water - the mixture should be the consistency of beaten egg, so if it is too thick add a little more water, and if it is too thin, a little more flour.
- Tip the breadcrumbs or crushed dried peas into another shallow bowl.
- Flour a clean work surface, then take a quarter of the mashed potato mixture and roll it into a long sausage shape. Cut the 'sausage' into four equal lengths, then repeat with the remaining potato mixture.
- Heat the oil in a large, deep frying pan or saucepan - it should be about half a centimetre deep. Take each croquette, dip it first in gram flour mixture, then into breadcrumbs (it is easiest to do this with two forks), rolling it around until fully coated. Place into the oil and repeat until you have 4 or 5 frying at once (don't overload the pan), turning occasionally until they are golden brown all over.
- Remove from the pan and place on kitchen paper to remove any excess oil, and repeat until all the croquettes are cooked. They can be eaten straight away, or refrigerated and reheated in the oven when needed.
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Taking the Pea. Thank you for your support of the brands who keep The Veg Space going!