Scotch eggs are one of my favourite finger foods for a party – they are kind of retro and kitch, but also delicious and travel well if you slice upon arrival and can keep them relatively cool. They can also be prepared in advance.
This was my first attempt at making vegetarian scotch eggs. When I ate meat it was easier, buy sausages and squoosh out the filling then wrap this around boiled eggs and fry. The vegetarian option however involved a little more prep, but the results were most definitely worth it – these were good and just about healthy enough to consider as an occasional week night dinner with a salad on the side.
Some of the vego recipes online involved buying vegetarian sausages but that seemed both a bit expensive and overly processed. I was inspired by this recipe, which I tweaked a little to make it simpler and to match it to my palate and what was in the cupboards.
8 eggs – 6 medium hard boiled, about 5 minutes or so, then peeled, 2 beaten in a bowl*
1/2 a red onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 grated carrot, as rough or fine as you want
2 tins chickpeas
2 teaspoons of smoked paprika
3 teaspoons of chilli flakes
1 teaspook cayenne pepper
100 grams flour
100 grams panko (preferred) or breadcrumbs or quinoa flakes
Enough oil to medium shallow fry
1. Fry onion, garlic and garlic in olive oil until soft
2. Add chilli flakes and paprika and fry for another minute before removing from heat
3. Drain chickpeas and add both tins to the onion mix and plenty of salt and pepper
4. Get a stick mixer (or appliance of your choice) and blitz the mixture so that it’s still a bit chunky but all sticking together – then let the mix cool
5. Arrange 3 bowls in order – flour, then beaten egg, then panko with cayenne and salt and pepper
6. Get the chickpea mix and divide it into 6 balls
7. Place one ball onto a small piece of clingfilm then put another on top, flatten it out gently with your fingers – you want it big enough to just wrap around an egg
8. Coat one egg in flour, then remove the top piece of clingfilm carefully and wrap the mix around the ball. Put it to the side and repeat 7-8 with the remaining 5 eggs and mixture
9. Each chickpea wrapped egg should now be dipped in the beaten egg, then in the panko so that it is well coated. You can double dip them if you have time. Then pop in fridge for 10 minutes.
10. Heat the vegetable oil in the pan you intend to fry in, make sure there’s enough oil that it will come at least halfway up each scotch egg. I use a little pot that has room for 2 scotch eggs at a time. Make sure the oil is hot enough before putting them in, should immediately sizzle. Once nicely golden remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel.
I like my scotch eggs cold, so would then pop them into tupperware and slice before eating. If you’re taking them to a picnic or something pack them uncut and they will travel better. Normally you would cut them in half but as they are quite big I also served some cut into quarters, if you make them with quail eggs then just cut them in half.
* If making with quail eggs I’d suggest a pack of 10 or a dozen, and two regular chook eggs for coating them.
My mum is an import to Australia (as am I obviously) which lead to some amusing dissonances in my childhood. We just didn’t exactly fit in, which always made me feel special.
My favourite thing when I was a kid was how when the other mothers were sipping Chardonnay and making salads, Mum was hanging around the BBQ with a beer in hand, laughing and arguing politics.
My other favourite thing was that when asked to bring a plate she invariably made these delicious roasted capsicums – not the pasta salads and the like that haunted such occasions. They were approached in the 80s as something remarkably exotic, but now are just comforting and simple and tasty!
I make the recipe with whatever coloured capsicums are available and cheap. The green ones are my least favourite though, mainly do them for colour.
You will need:
Garlic – chopped finely
Oregano – chopped finely
Capers – chopped
Anchovies – chopped (optional)
1. Set the oven up high – 250c or so is fine
2. Chop capsicums into big flat pieces, discard stem and seeds. Place skin up on baking tray (on foil if you want easier clean up).
3. Place in oven, cook till skins are charred and puff up (about 20 minutes)
4. Remove from oven and cover with tea towel or place capsicums into a plastic bag.
5. When cool peel the skin off. If it’s hard to remove then next time you might need to leave them in longer.
6. Lay them on a serving plate, scatter garlic, oregano, capers and anchovies if using, then drizzle with EVOO.
Eat as is or on crackers or bread, also good on pizza. Personally I think they are even better the next day!