These Crispy Leek Fritters Are the Perfect Spring Snack

The first sign of spring produce is an occasion worth celebrating. This recipe for leek fritters with lemon caper dipping sauce puts the flavorful spring allium front and center

Fritters can be a party appetizer or a solo snack.
Fritters can be a party appetizer or a solo snack. / The Institute of Culinary Education

Like daffodils and 7 p.m. sunsets, leeks are an early sign of spring. They can be used as an aromatic in place of onions or scallions, but if you want to celebrate their unique flavor, make them the star of the show. This recipe for spring leek fritters from the Institute of Culinary Education is the perfect vehicle for the seasonal vegetable. 

Leeks are alliums like onions, but their mild, sweet taste means they’re better suited as a main ingredient. Their vibrant green shade also adds a pop of color to whatever dish you’re making. Tossing sliced leeks in a flavorful batter and frying them gives you a perfect crispy snack or hors d’oeuvre. If you want to take the dish to the next level, serve them with a quick dipping sauce made from capers, mayonnaise, and lemon juice.

To bring the batter together, start by combining sliced leeks, chopped cauliflower, breadcrumbs, flour, cayenne, salt, and dill together in a bowl. Whisk the eggs separately before incorporating them into the dry ingredients. Next, heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium, and once it’s hot, fry a small drop of batter as a test.

“You always want to test the fritter a little bit first,” Gill Boyd, a culinary arts chef-instructor at ICE, tells Mental Floss. “Because, one: you want to see how the batter is holding in the oil, because temperatures can vary. And two: you want to see that the seasoning is right on the fritter. That way you can taste it and adjust instead of frying them all at once."

Once you’ve tweaked the seasoning to your liking, fry the rest of the batter one tablespoon at a time. Cook the fritters until golden brown on each side, flipping once, before transferring them to a paper towel-lined pan or plate. Prepare the mayo dipping sauce while waiting for the fritters to cool.

With campuses in New York and Los Angeles, the Institute of Culinary Education offers cooking and hospitality management classes at a variety of skill levels. In addition to their career training programs, they provide continued education to professionals already working in the culinary world. If you’re interested in learning more recipes like the one below, you can check out the school’s curricula here.

Spring Leek Fritters 

Serves 4-6

1 leek, washed and sliced into 1/8-inch half circle slices
1 cup chopped cauliflower
¼ cup breadcrumbs
½ cup all-purpose flour
3 eggs
¼ cup dill
½ tsp cayenne pepper
Salt to taste
2–3 cups vegetable oil

Dipping Sauce
⅓ cup capers
Juice from 1 lemon
1 cup mayonnaise
Pepper to taste

  1. Combine all the fritter ingredients except the eggs and oil in a bowl.
  2. Separately, whisk the eggs then add to the dry ingredients. Mix and fold the batter until well incorporated.
  3. Heat oil over medium heat in a 12-inch (or wider) skillet.
  4. Once the oil has heated, make a small fritter to test the batter. Add one tablespoon of the batter to the pan and cook until golden brown, then flip and do the same on the other side.
  5. Remove from the pan and place on a paper towel to drain. Taste for seasoning and add more salt or cayenne to batter if needed.
  6. Continue to fry fritters using a heaping tablespoon as a portion size for fritters, then serve.
  7. While the fritters cook, make the dipping sauce: chop the capers then combine with the rest of the ingredients.

Read More Recipes Here: