These have been a dream as I used to love crab cakes with their salty taste of the sea. All my friends got so excited when they tried these Cannellini and Artichoke Vegan Crabless Cakes. They hold together well, are lovely and filling from the beans and pinenuts and have a great texture added by the artichoke. They taste like a crab cake even more if you add in some seaweed! These vegan crab cakes are perfect as a main meal with potatoes and tomato sauce, great as a dinner party starter, or even a canape if made smaller.
I am a professed pulse obsessive. They are so versatile and a great source of protein. I’ve always loved white beans (cannellini beans) as they make a great change to chickpeas and work with more subtle spices. And I choose artichokes because I don’t cook with them that often, but I just adore their slightly stringy texture and subtle briney flavour (which also adds to crab-like taste). For this recipe, it is easiest to just get artichokes in a can, or a jar if you like.
Pinenuts are another big favourite of mine. They have a nice crunch and lovely good fats. In any bean cakes I think it’s a fun to have some sort of nut or seed for crunchy contrast. I’ve also used the herb rosemary, which is a perfect pairing with white beans. The beans cakes are held together with linseed and buckwheat flour. Linseed is a great egg replacement, and buckwheat flour also adds a bit more bite to the mixture and gives it a firmness.
Key to this recipe are the ingredients that give it that ‘Of the Sea’ taste. Lemon zest is a must, and an optional extra is to add some seaweed. You could use a whole sheet of nori cut up, but the most convenient is probably Nori seaweed flakes . You’ll find these at most health shops or at places like the Japan Centre or other japanese store, but don’t worry if you can’t find any, these cakes will still be absolutely delicious. In fact, I’ve had them both with and without seaweed, and both were bursting with flavour.
Lastly the Dijon mustard gives the cakes a great kick, and brings out the lemony flavours inside even more. Add more mustard if you want! Depending on your preference you can fry or bake the cakes. I tried both; again, both were equally delicious, so up to you.
This dish so versatile across starters, mains and canapes, and easy to put in a sandwich for on the go. We styled them in the photos with some easy tomatoey marinara sauce, which is a delicious way to eat them!
Deliciously flaky cakes that are kind to crabs and that your taste buds will love too!
- 1/2 medium onion
- 6 cloves garlic
- 2 tsp Olive oil
- 2 cups canned artichokes drained (or 1 tin/ 400g)
- 2 cups cannellini beans (or 1 tin/ 400g)
- ½ cup toasted pinenuts (85 g)
- ½ cup breadcrumbs (85 g) I use sourdough, but can use any, or use GF if desired
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp chopped fresh / dried rosemary
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 3 tbsp linseed mixed with 3 tbsp water this uses less water than usual for linseed eggs so the cakes are not too wet
- ½ cup oat / buckwheat flour (85 g)
- 4 tsp Nori seaweed sprinkles optional
- 2 tsp dried dill optional
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
Sautee the onion and garlic in a frying pan using the 2 tsp olive oil.
Mash the 2 cups of cannellini beans roughly (keep it a bit chunky for texture). Add the other half a cup of beans but don’t mash them (so there are some whole beans).
Add the salt, pepper, rosemary, pinenuts, breadcrumbs, flour, seaweed (if using), dill and lemon zest to the beans. Then add the sauteed onion and garlic. Mix together with a spoon to begin with, then start to mix in with your hands.
Add the linseed eggs and continue mixing with your hands.
Put the whole mix in fridge for at least an hour to firm up.
Make the mix into round patties. Pan fry in oil, about 5 minutes each side or bake for 35-40 minutes at 200 C.
If frying, this can be done a day before an event and then the patties can be heated up in the oven just before serving.