With a volcanic belch and a puff of smoke it seems that Iceland has done a huge PR job for local food. While it raises serious questions about the pain of transition – especially for developing countries dependent on western markets – the grounding of food freight aviation has highlighted the topsy-turvy vulnerability of our globalised food economy, and demonstrated how quickly it could all grind to a halt.
It therefore seems appropriate to honour the volcanic contribution made to the local food movement this week with a topical recipe. And as Iceland is, understandably, not renowned for its vegetarian cuisine (please correct such ignorance if you know better), a geological theme might suffice…
Fried Mustard Sprout Lava (Fritters) served with sweet molten dip and sprinkled with volcanic ash.
1 bag of mustard sprouts (or mung beans, alfalfa etc..)
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
½ tsp fresh red chillies (adjust according to stamina), finely chopped
Pinch of salt & pepper
3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
2 tbsp grated parmesan (or vegan equiv.)
1 egg (or egg replacer)
3-4 tbsp flour (enough to bind)
Veg oil, or mix of oil & butter (enough for frying)
1 tbsp honey, 1 tbsp soy sauce, juice of 1 lemon, ½ tbsp dried chilli flakes
Grind some black pepper, smoked paprika and pinch of rock-salt together with pestle & mortar.
Combine all the fritter ingredients in a mixing bowl. Then drop a heaped spoonful of the mixture into hot oil/butter in a non-stick frying pan. Shallow fry on a low heat until golden brown on both sides (usually 2 mins). To make the chilli dip, place the honey, soy sauce, lemon juice and chilli flakes in a small saucepan over a medium heat. When the mixture thickens pour into a small bowl to cool.
To serve, dribble dip on a plate to create a shallow pool, lay fritter on top, surround with sprigs of flat-leaf parsley and sprinkle with volcanic ash.