Usually, I like to make vegetarian food that stands alone, and doesn’t try to replicate anything meaty – vegetarian food is amazing in its own right, rather than just being a second rate version of something else. But I couldn’t resist calling these vegetarian ‘fishcakes’. Sorry! Just think of them as some kind of bean cake if you prefer.
There’s obviously no fish in these vegetarian fishcakes, and they don’t actually taste remotely like fish (in case you were worried) – but they work so well with chips, peas and tartare sauce that they definitely bear some resemblance to the fishy version. You could also serve them up with salad, new potatoes, a squeeze of lemon – however you like. They’re pretty versatile.
My vegetarian fishcakes are made from a mixture of beans, artichokes and parmesan cheese. The breadcrumbs around the edge get nice and crispy (even though they’re baked not fried!), and the middles stay fluffy. This is just my kind of dinner – especially with some homemade chips on the side.
This time I served shopbought tartar sauce alongside my vegetarian fishcakes – to be honest, after making the cakes themselves and some chips, I really just couldn’t be bothered to make homemade tartar sauce too. But actually (not to blow my own horn or anything…), my homemade tartar sauce is way better. I would definitely recommend making your own if you have time – it only takes a couple of minutes. I probably could have managed if I’d tried, but considering I’m currently some kind of living Russian doll, I think I’m allowed to be a bit lazy.
How would you serve your vegetarian fishcakes – are you a chips and peas kind of person, or more of a new potato person?
- 160 g drained marinated artichoke hearts (~ 1 cup quartered hearts)
- 400 g tin cannellini beans, drained (240g, or ~ 1 1/4 cups, when drained)
- 50 g vegetarian parmesan-style cheese, grated (~ 2/3 cup when grated)
- 45 g bread (~ 2 small slices or 1 large slice)
- Few sprigs fresh parsley
- Black pepper
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 egg
- Spray oil
- 6 tbsp dried breadcrumbs (panko or normal)
If you’re using artichoke hearts that came packed in oil, start by spreading them out on a couple of sheets of kitchen paper, to absorb any excess oil.
Add the cannellini beans to a food processor, along with the grated parmesan, bread, and parsley. Blitz to form a coarse paste. Season generously, and add the drained artichoke hearts, lemon juice, and egg. Blitz again to combine. The mixture should be moist, but able to hold its shape - add a few more breadcrumbs if it seems too wet.
Lightly grease a baking tray with oil, and heat the oven to 200°C (Gas Mark 6 / 400°F).
Add the dried breadcrumbs to a shallow dish. Take around 1/6 of the bean mixture in clean hands, and roll it in the breadcrumbs. Form it into the shape of a fishcake, and place on the greased baking tray. Repeat with the remaining mixture, to give 6 vegetarian fishcakes in total. Spray the fishcakes with a little oil, and bake for around 30 minutes, or until they are golden brown and crispy.
Note: Nutritional information is approximate, and will depend on exactly what ingredients you choose. Information above is for one vegetarian fishcake.