Think of this recipe as a base template that you can make your own. Creamy navy beans can adapt to any flavour profile so feel free to experiment. I am showing you a nice, lovely version that tastes like spring to me but feel free to change up the fresh herbs. You can also add in a handful of corn or diced tomato, leftover diced roasted peppers, your favourite spice blend in place of the za’atar – it’s a very forgiving recipe that is easily played with.
I serve these on their own, with hummus or tzatziki, a smear of labneh – really, they are great with any dip or spread that you like. Garnish with more fresh herbs, the left over green onion and chili slices, a drizzle of hot sauce ( I use chili crisp)
If you don’t need to keep this vegan, they make a great base for poached eggs with a side of greens for a delicious brunch dish. They reheat well and any leftover batter can be kept in the fridge for a couple of days too.
- 1 can navy beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/4 cup each chopped parsley, dill and cilantro OR 3/4 cup herbs of your choice
- Zest and juice of one large lemon
- 1.5 tsp kosher salt and a few grinds of black pepper
- 2 tbsp tahini
- 1 cup roughly chopped arugula
- 1 bunch green onions
- 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds chopped
- 1 tbsp za’atar
- 1 1/2 cups AP flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cup milk (or milk sub if you want to keep it vegan)
- 1 or 2 thai red chilis
- Olive oil for frying
Drain your can of navy beans while you prep the rest of your ingredients. Chop two green onions, cut another into thin, 2” strips. Thinly slice your chilis, chop your pumpkin seeds roughly as well as the arugula.
In a large bowl, lightly mash the navy beans, the herbs, the lemon juice and zest with the salt and pepper. Mash roughly so that you still have lots of whole beans but lightly mashing releases the creamy insides of some your beans. You can use a big spoon or a potato masher.
Add in the tahini, arugula, pumpkin seeds, the 2 chopped green onions , za’atar and mix really well before you add in the flour. Again stir in the flour until it is incorporated into the mix before you pour in your milk or non dairy milk substitute. Start with 1 1/4 cup of liquid and if the mixture isn’t loose enough, add in another 1/4 cup. It should not be runny, but it should be able to be spooned into the pan in dollops.
Heat a non stick pan over medium heat and add enough olive oil to coat the bottom. When it’s hot, spoon in your fritter batter – a good size is using a scant 1/4 cup of batter. I can fit 3 at a time in my pan, just make sure you don’t crowd them so they are easy to flip. Cook the fritters for about 4 minutes on the first side. Right before you flip them, arrange some of the green onion strips and 2 or 3 slices of chili on the top and lightly push them into the batter (this will make them look pretty when you serve them)
Carefully flip the fritters and then cook them for about 2 or 3 more minutes on the second side. They will rise a bit and be nicely browned on both sides.
Remove them to a rack and continue making more fritters. You can keep them warm in a 200F oven until you are done, if you are making more than a couple batches. Oh, and make sure to serve them with the green onion/chili slices facing up.