Green Bean and Red Onion Fritters with Serrano Ham and Sesame Mayo

by Leah Halmagyi


  • 3 cups green beans, sliced
  • 1 red onion, finely sliced
  • ½ bunch mint leaves
  • ½ bunch marjoram leaves
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • sea salt flakes and freshly-milled black pepper
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • vegetable oil, for frying
  • ¼ cup sesame seeds, toasted
  • 2 eggs yolks
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1½ cups vegetable oil
  • 12 fine slices Serrano ham
  • watercress and lemon wedges, to serve


1 Mix the beans with the onion, herbs and half the garlic. Combine the milk and egg in a large bowl and whisk until smooth, then add the flour and bicarbonate of soda and stir thoroughly until a batter forms. Fold in the vegetable mixture and season generously with salt and pepper.
2 Heat vegetable oil in a skillet over a moderate heat and fry the batter in ¾ cup amounts. Cook for 2 minutes, then flip and continue cooking until just firm. Drain on kitchen paper and season with salt. The mixture should make 12 fritters.
3 Meanwhile, pound the sesame seeds in a mortar until a paste forms, then place in a jug with the yolks, mustard, lemon juice and remaining garlic. Puree with a stick blender. Add the sesame oil and vegetable oil in a steady stream while pureeing, until thickened. Season with salt. Serve the fritters with Serrano, watercress, lemon and sesame aioli.