My final showcase from Ottolenghi Simple is indeed that: simple. It’s fried deliciousness.

Pea, Za’atar, and Feta Fritters
Ottolenghi Simple
Makes 8 fritters

18 oz. frozen/defrosted green peas
4½ oz. whole-milk ricotta cheese
3 large eggs, beaten
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon, and lemon wedges for serving (cut after zesting)
3/4 tsp. salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3 Tbsp. za’atar
2/3 cup flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
1 cup packed mint leaves, finely chopped
7 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
About 3 1/3 cups safflower oil, for frying

Pulse the defrosted peas in a food processor just until they are coarsely crushed, then transfer to a mixing bowl.
Stir in the ricotta, eggs, lemon zest, the salt and a good grind of pepper, then add the za’atar, flour and baking powder, mixing until they are just incorporated. Gently fold in the mint and feta; you don’t want the chunks of cheese to break up.

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Line a plate with paper towels.

Divide the mixture into 8 equal portions, shaping them into balls, patties or quenelles that are about 1½ inches wide. Cook about 4 at a time for 3 to 4 minutes, turning them to brown evenly. Use a slotted spoon to transfer them to the lined plate while you cook the remaining batch.

Serve warm, with lemon wedges.

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Ottolenghi says, “This is pretty much a roll call of my favorite things: green peas, ricotta, za’atar, and feta.” I totally agree. Za’atar, remember, is a dazzling mix of thyme, sesame seeds, sumac, and salt. Ricotta is my old friend. Mint leaves are included in this party, too. These fritters make their case in favor of deep frying. Enjoy these and enjoy this cookbook. Thanks again, Ottolenghi.

Next week, I’ll try the “Cherry Streusel Bars” from Cook’s Country.

Cherry Streusel Bars
Cook’s Country, June/July 2017
Makes 24 2-inch squares

2½ cups all-purpose flour
⅔ cups sugar
½ tsp. salt
16 Tbsp. butter, chilled and cut into ½-inch pieces

2 cups frozen cherries, slightly thawed
1 cup cherry preserves
2 tsp. lemon juice
¼ tsp. almond extract
Pinch salt

½ cup old-fashioned rolled oats
½ cup slivered almonds, chopped
¼ cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp. butter, chilled and cut into ½-inch pieces

Preheat oven to 375º, line a 9 x 13 baking pan with parchment and spray it lightly with cooking spray.

CRUST: In a food processor, combine flour, sugar and salt and process to combine. Add butter and pulse until butter is in small pieces, about 15 pulses. Transfer ¼ cup to a medium bowl to use for streusel. Place the rest in the bottom of the prepared pan and press into an even layer using the bottom of a measuring cup. Bake for 16-18 minutes until golden brown.

FILLING: Add all ingredients to the food processor and pulse until combined but still a little chunky. Set aside.

STREUSEL: Add oats, almonds and brown sugar to the reserved flour mixture. Add butter and use fingers to combine and forms into small clumps. Set aside.

Add cherry mixture to baked crust, it can still be hot. Then sprinkle streusel over the top, don’t press it in. Bake until filling is bubbling and streusel is golden brown, 24-28 minutes.

Cool on wire rack. When cool, remove from pan and cut into 24 bars.