Najat Kaanache’s Vegetable ‘Fish’ Finger Sticks

Phaidon’s new book Cooking for Your Kids: At Home With the World’s Greatest Chefs is filled with great dishes that famous chefs like to prepare for their sons and daughters. A few of these are the kind of dishes that you might prefer to whip up while the kids are out of the kitchen, though plenty of them call for a few younger cooks in the kitchen.

For a fun, and healthy alternative to hotdogs or burgers, try putting together the garden “fish” finger sticks, by Najat Kaanache of the Nur restaurant in Fez, Morocco.

“My daughter, Nur, and I love to make these vegetable ‘fish’ fingers,” says the chef. “They’re a simple and healthy lunch and offer her plenty of opportunities to help, from forming the veggie mash into fingers to rolling them in breadcrumbs.”

See also: Abel and Cole’s Buckwheat with Saffron Yogurt and Asparagus


  • 1¾ cups (100 g) of fresh breadcrumbs
  • 7 oz (200 g) of sweet potatoes, cut into wedges
  • Two shallots, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 3½ oz (100 g) of carrots, peeled and halved
  • 3½ oz (100 g) of beets, peeled and halved
  • Four tablespoons olive oil
  • Four garlic cloves, minced
  • 2½ tablespoons (5 g) of rosemary leaves
  • 2 oz (50 g) of broccoli, chopped
  • 3½ oz (100 g) of fresh peas.

    For the dipping sauce:
  • Juice of one lemon
  • Tablespoon of mayonnaise
  • Two teaspoons of honey
  • Teaspoon of cilantro (coriander) leaves
  • Four tablespoons all-purpose (plain) flour
  • A pinch of freshly ground black pepper;
  • A pinch of smoked paprika
  • Two eggs
  • 1⁄8 a teaspoon of salt

…as well as olive oil, for shallow frying, four burger rolls or hot dog buns, and lettuce and tomato.

See also: Yondu’s Umami Barbecue Vegetables


  • First preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C/Gas Mark 4).
  • Spread the breadcrumbs on a sheet pan and bake until light browned, about 10 minutes. Then increase the oven temperature to 375°F (190°C/Gas Mark 5).
  • Toss the sweet potatoes, shallots, carrots, and beets with the olive oil, garlic, and rosemary sprigs. Place the potatoes, shallots, carrots, and beets on a sheet pan, loosely cover with foil, and put in the oven.
  • Spread the chopped broccoli on another sheet pan and put in the oven after 15 minutes. After another 15 minutes, add the peas to the broccoli. Shuffle to toss.
  • After 15–20 more minutes, remove all the vegetables. Transfer the roasted vegetables to a bowl and use a fork to mash them together. Then whisk together the lemon juice, mayonnaise, honey, and cilantro (coriander) until well incorporated.
  • Next you need to beat the eggs with the salt in a small bowl. Roll the vegetable mash into “fish stick” shapes, about 2 inches (5 cm) long and ½ inch (1.25 cm) wide. Lay them side by side on a tray. Cover and refrigerate for five minutes. Pour three inches (7.5 cm) of olive oil into a frying pan and heat over medium-high heat.
  • Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, sift together the flour, pepper, and paprika. Spread the breadcrumbs on a plate.
  • Dip the vegetable sticks in the egg wash, then in the breadcrumbs, gently shaking to remove excess.
  • Place them in the oil and fry until golden brown.

    Serve either in burger rolls or hot dog buns with dipping sauce and lettuce and tomato.

See also: Rukmini Iyer’s Mushroom and Black Bean Burgers with Peanut and Lime

See also: Mary Berry’s Leek & Dill Quiche with a Choice of Toppings

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