Green Pea Cutlets with Mint, Feta, and Pine Nuts

These are my vegetarian versions of crab cakes: crisp on the outside;  moist and flavorful on the inside.  Green peas are ground, then flavored with mint leaves, feta cheese, red onions, and toasted pine nuts. Rolled in fresh bread crumbs and pan-fried, they’re the perfect bite for a party. Top with a lemon yogurt sauce for a fresh and creamy finish.

Ingredients

2 cups frozen peas (thawed)

1/3 cup chopped red onions

1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves

2 cloves garlic (minced)

1/3 cup feta cheese (crumbled)

3 tablespoons pine nuts (toasted)

1 teaspoon fine sea salt

freshly cracked black pepper

1 egg

1/4 cup flour

4 slices white or wheat sandwich bread (for breadcrumbs; about 2 cups)

2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese

Vegetable oil

Ingredients for Sauce

1/2 cup yogurt

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon lemon zest

squeeze of lemon juice

salt

liberal amount of freshly cracked black pepper

Method

Buzz three slices white or wheat bread in a food processor. Pour over a plate and mix with parmesan cheese. Reserve. Dry toast pine nuts in a pan over medium heat and reserve. Thaw and drain peas, then process in food processor until course paste is achieved. Then transfer to a mixing bowl and add chopped garlic, onions, mint leaves, feta cheese, salt, and freshly cracked pepper. Mix well, folding in pine nuts. Then add one egg, and 1/2 of bread crumb mixture (1 cup), mix and finish with 1/4 cup flour. Mix well. Take about a tablespoon of mixture and roll in your hands to form a ball, then dredge in the parmesan bread crumb mixture. Slightly flatten the ball to form a patty. Repeat this process until all patties are made. Then pour enough vegetable or canola oil in a large fry pan to come up about a 1/4 inch from the bottom of the pan. Fry in batches, about three minutes on each side or until golden and crisp. Drain on paper towel-lined plate.

For sauce, simply combine all ingredients. Dollop on top of cutlets and garnish with chopped fresh mint. Enjoy!

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