Starters & Light meals

Blue cheese, bulgur, quinoa and herb croquettes

30 minutes
20 minutes

These croquettes pair beautifully with pickled pears and bean and pecan nut salsa. They're the creation of chef Luke Dale-Roberts.

Wine/Spirit Pairing
Lammershoek Roulette Blanc 2010

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  • 250 g bulgur wheat, prepared according to package instructions
  • 1 free-range egg
  • 30 g Parmesan, finely grated
  • 30 g cooked red quinoa
  • 30 g cooked white quinoa
  • 10 g parsley, chopped
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 thumb-tip-sized balls of blue cheese
  • Sunflower oil, for deep-frying
  • Wild rocket, for serving
  • For the pickled pears:
  • ½ cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 cup hanepoot
  • ½ cup water
  • 80 g sugar
  • 2 g saffron (optional)
  • 6 pears, peeled
  • For the bean and pecan nut salsa, mix:
  • 80 g cooked black-eyed beans
  • 40 g blanched raisins
  • 60 g pecan nuts, diced
  • 5 T olive oil
  • Juice of ¼ lemon
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • For the Parmesan dressing:
  • 2 T white wine vinegar
  • ½ t fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 free-range egg yolk
  • 1 T Dijon mustard
  • 40 g Parmesan
  • 1¼ cups olive oil
  • Sea salt, to taste

Add the egg and Parmesan to the soaked bulgur wheat and beat vigorously using a wooden spoon. Add both the quinoas and the parsley and continue beating. Season to taste.

Scoop ½ cup of the mixture onto a sheet of cling film. Top with another sheet of cling film and roll the dough to form a disc of approximately 10 cm in diameter.

Remove the top layer of cling film, place a blue cheese ball in the centre of the disc and gather up the sides. Squeeze it together to form a neat parcel. Repeat with the remaining quinoa mixture and blue cheese.

Deep-fry the croquettes in 180°C oil until golden, then drain on kitchen paper.

Break open a couple of the croquettes, allowing the cheesy centres to ooze out; leave the rest whole. Arrange on a plate alongside slices of pickled pear and a few leaves of wild rocket.

Drizzle with the salsa and dressing and serve immediately.

To make the pickled pears, place the vinegar, hanepoot, water, sugar and saffron, if using, in a saucepan and bring to a boil.

Add the pears, reduce the heat and poach for 10 to 15 minutes, or until they can be easily pricked with a knife. Allow to cool, then slice and remove the cores.

To make the Parmesan dressing, place the vinegar, rosemary, egg yolk, mustard and Parmesan in a jug blender and blend on a high speed.

With the blender running, slowly add the oil in a steady stream to create a creamy dressing. Season to taste with salt.

Luke Dale-Roberts

Recipe by: Luke Dale-Roberts

Considered a foodie visionary by most, Luke Dale-Roberts is the mastermind behind SA's number one restaurant, The Test Kitchen, as well as The Pot Luck Club.

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