Bean Fritters with Salmoriglio Sauce

Not quite falafel and not quite a bean burger, these crisp patties are an easy and fast meal-maker. Serve alongside braised greens or sautéed vegetables, or make mini fritters to serve as a snack. Fritters can be shaped a day ahead— store them dusted with flour and covered with plastic wrap until ready to fry.

Makes 4 servings

2 cups cooked beans of your choice (we used pintos), cooking liquid drained off

2 scallions, finely sliced

1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley or cilantro, or a combination of both

2 tablespoons finely grated cheese (Parmesan is a good choice, but cheddar or Gouda are good, too)

Salt and pepper to taste

⅓–½ cup all-purpose flour

Oil for frying

Salmoriglio Sauce (recipe below)

In a large bowl, use a fork, a pastry cutter, or your hands to mash beans, scallion, parsley, cheese, and salt and pepper together.

Divide the mixture into 8 equal portions. Form each into a patty, using the flour to coat the sides and keep the patties from sticking to your hands.

Heat a large nonstick or cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add a thin layer of oil and fry the fritters until browned on both sides and warmed all the way through, about 3 minutes per side. Serve drizzled with Salmoriglio Sauce.

Salmoriglio Sauce

This sauce provides a citrusy spark to any plate. Oregano is traditional, but substitute mint or cilantro if preferred. This sauce will be best the day it is made, when the herbs are at their freshest, but any leftovers are great as a marinade.

Makes 2 cups

½ cup hot water

½ cup lemon juice, from 2 to 3 lemons

1 cup chopped parsley

½ cup chopped fresh oregano (or 1 tablespoon dried oregano)

1–2 cloves garlic

1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper

Put water, lemon juice, parsley, oregano, and garlic into a blender.

With the blender running, pour in olive oil in a slow stream. The mixture will emulsify and thicken. Taste and season with salt and pepper.