Aromatic leeks and shallots, bright parsley, coriander and dill, and salty halloumi cheese contrast with the sweet peas beautifully.
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Makes 10 to 12 fritters
2 large leeks, dark green tops removed
3 tbsp (45 mL) olive oil
1/2 cup (120 mL) finely chopped shallots
2 cups (475 mL) shelled English peas
1/2 cup (120 mL) chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 tbsp (15 mL) finely chopped fresh dill
3/4 tsp (4 mL) ground coriander seed
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup (120 mL) all-purpose flour
2 tsp (10 mL) baking powder
1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) salt
1/3 cup (80 mL) 3.5 percent milk, at room temperature
3 tbsp (45 mL) butter, melted
8 oz (225 g) halloumi cheese, diced small
1/2 cup (120 mL) canola oil
Crème fraîche, to serve
Halved lemons, to serve
Slice leeks into 1/2-inch (1.25-cm) rounds and rinse well in a colander to remove any dirt.
Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the leeks and shallots. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes.
Add peas, parsley, dill and coriander to the leek mixture. Cook for 5 minutes, smashing with a wooden spoon or potato masher until about one-third of the peas are mashed. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, 1/2 tsp (5 mL) salt, egg, milk and butter. Fold the vegetable mixture and diced halloumi into the batter until just combined.
In a deep fryer or deep saucepan, heat canola oil over medium heat until it registers 350°F (180°C) on a thermometer. Working with a quarter of the batter per batch, divide into about three large fritters and fry until golden brown and crisp, approximately 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels and keep warm. Repeat process with remaining batter.
Serve fritters immediately with crème fraîche and lemon halves.