Almond & Pinenut Fritter with Braised Fennel, Roast Butternut Squash and White Beans

Guest Chef Recipe

Almond & Pinenut Fritter with Braised Fennel, Roast Butternut Squash and White Beans
Courtesy of Acorn Vegetarian Kitchen
3 spoon difficulty rating


Average: 3 (4 votes)
Almond & Pinenut Fritter with Braised Fennel, Roast Butternut Squash and White Beans

Chef Richard Buckley, owner of Acorn Vegetarian in Bath (one of the few veggie/vegan restaurants in the Michelin Guide) says: 'We don’t use substitute products.  We don’t try and make vegetables taste like meat products.  However, purely by accident, these patties bear more than a passing flavour resemblance to a very famous Spanish sausage… They are deep and robust in flavour, so the rest of the dish has a sweeter more delicate balance to let the flavours mingle and flow.  It's full of vegetables but tastes a bit meaty, its robust flavours that are light and delicate.  It’s a dish of contradictions, but it is yummy.'


Almond and Pinenut Patties

  • 125g blanched almonds
  • 125g pine nuts
  • 2 medium onions
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 6g mild smoked paprika
  • 7g parsley, without stalks
  • 5g tarragon, without stalks
  • 100g water
  • 2g agar powder
  • 3g salt

Gram Flour Batter

  • 250g gram flour
  • 20g corn flour
  • 2.5g salt
  • 10g paprika
  • 3g baking powder

Poached Fennel

  • 1 eschallot
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 fennel bulbs
  • 5g sugar
  • 250g white wine
  • 2 star anise
  • 500g vegetable stock 
  • 5g salt

Garlic Marinade

  • 50g garlic
  • 8g corinader seed
  • 5g fennel seed
  • 1g cloves
  • 8g mild smoked paprika
  • 15g salt
  • 50g liquid glucose
  • 150g olive oil

Roast Butternut Squash

  • 1 large butternut squash
  • Garlic marinade from above


Almond and Pinenut Patties

  1. Preheat oven to 180ºC/350ºF (fan assisted 160ºC) Gas Mark 4.
  2. Put the almonds and pine nuts onto a tray and toast until golden.
  3. Peel and dice the onions and peel and mince the garlic.
  4. Fry the onions in a medium pan with a little olive oil.
  5. Add the the garlic and continue to stir gently until cooked.
  6. Add the smoked paprika and agar and stir.
  7. Add the water and bring to the boil.
  8. Chop the herbs.
  9. Put the nuts, onion mixture, herbs and salt together in a food processor and process to a coarse paste. 
  10. Put into storage container and leave to set.
  11. Scoop out 1 tablespoon of the mixture and form into a ball in your hands.  Continue until you have enough balls for the number of people to be served
  12. Store on a  tray until needed.

Gram Flour Batter

  1. Mix all the dry ingredients together and store in a dry air tight box.

Poached Fennel

  1. Peel and dice the eschallot.
  2. Peel and mince the garlic.
  3. Cut the fennel into 6 clean wedges per bulb, being sure to remove any damaged or woody outer layer.
  4. Heat a little olive oil in a medium sauce pan and add the shallots.
  5. Fry for two minutes then add the garlic.
  6. Fry for a further 2 minutes then add the fennel and sugar.
  7. Fry until the fennel starts to caramelise and then add the wine.
  8. Cook until you reduce the wine by a quarter and then add the stock. 
  9. Simmer until the fennel is meltingly soft and remove from the heat.
  10. Remove the fennel and wipe off any shallots or garlic mix.
  11. Pass the remaining liquid through a sieve and return the fennel to it.
  12. Store in a storage tub in the fridge until needed.

Garlic Marinade

  1. Put the coriander seed, fennel seed and cloves into a pestle and mortar and grind to a powder.
  2. Put the spices together with the other ingredients into a blender and process until smooth.
  3. Put into a storage container and store until needed.

Roast Butternut Squash

  1. Peel the squash and then cut into 1cm slices width ways.
  2. Trim these to give neat edges and then put into a bowl.
  3. Add the garlic marinade and stir to mix thoroughly. 
  4. Pour the mix into a high sided baking tin and roast until the squash is very tender, turning every 10 minutes.
  5. Remove form the oven and allow to cool.
  6. Remove the squash pieces and put into a storage container.
  7. Store in the fridge until needed.

To Serve

Preheat oven to 180ºC (fan assisted 160ºC)/350ºF/ Gas Mark 4

Fill a small pan ¾ full with oil and heat to 180ºC/350ºF or set a fryer to same temperature.

Almond pine nut patties

  • Gram flour batter
  • Poached fennel and broth
  • 100g of cannelini beans (tinned are fine)
  • 100g baby spinach
  • Roasted butternut squash
  1. Put 2 pieces of butternut squash per person onto a tray and put in the oven for 10-15 minutes to heat through.
  2. Put a handful of beans and 3 pieces of fennel per person into a small pan cover with the reserved poaching liquid and bring to the boil.
  3. Once boiling remove from the heat and stir in the spinach until it wilts.
  4. Set to one side.
  5. Mix 100g of gram flour batter with 100g of water to make a smooth batter the thickness of double cream adding more water if necessary.
  6. Dip 2 patties per person into the batter and then fry in the deep oil in batches until golden and heated through to the middle.
  7. Remove to a tray lined with kitchen paper and keep warm until needed.
  8. Place a 10cm metal ring in the centre of each large bowl.
  9. Split the beans and spinach between them being sure to leave the broth and fennel behind.
  10. Remove the ring and arrange the fennel, roasted squash and patties on top and around. 
  11. Carefully pour the broth in at the side being careful not to get the patties wet.
  12. Serve immediately.

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