Food and DrinkRecipes

Kale, Chestnut and Mushroom Bonbons with Cherry Sauce

A delightful vegetarian starter for seasonal menus!

Can be made vegan*

Serves: 4

Preparation: 15 mins
Cooking: 20 mins (plus up to 2 hours chilling)

For the bonbons:

1 tbsp vegetable oil
3 shallots, roughly chopped
150g kale, roughly chopped
225g cooked chestnuts, roughly chopped
225g chestnut mushrooms, roughly chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 free-range egg, beaten (*for a vegan version substitute 1 tbsp gram flour mixed with 3 tbsp water)

For the coating:

100g breadcrumbs
100g plain white flour
2 free-range eggs, beaten (*for a vegan version substitute 2 tbsp gram flour mixed with 6 tbsp water)

For deep-frying the bonbons:
1 litre vegetable oil

For the cherry sauce:

20 fresh cherries, pitted and chopped
20g caster sugar
2 sprigs thyme
1 lemon, juiced

To garnish:
A few small sprigs of watercress


To make the bonbons:

  1. Fry the shallots in oil over a medium heat for a few minutes until soft. Add the kale, chestnuts and mushrooms to the pan. Season then cook for 10 minutes.
  1. Remove from the heat, cool slightly then place in a food processor with the egg (or vegan substitute). Pulse to bring together, leaving a little texture. Place in the fridge to chill.
  1. Once chilled, divide the mixture into 12 and roll into balls.
  1. Place the breadcrumbs, plain white flour and egg (or vegan substitute) into 3 separate bowls. Coat each of the bonbons in flour, then the beaten egg followed by the breadcrumbs.
  1. Heat the oil in a large, wide, sturdy pan (no more than half full) to 180°C. Fry the bonbons until the outside is golden. You may need to do this in batches. Once cooked, drain the bonbons on kitchen towel.

To make the cherry sauce:

  1. Place the cherries in a pan with the sugar and thyme then bring to a simmer. Cook until the cherries have broken down and a syrup has formed.
  1. Remove the thyme and stir in the lemon juice. Blend into a smooth purée.

 To serve: 

  1. Serve the bonbons with the cherry sauce on the side and garnish with a few sprigs of watercress.

Recipe courtesy of ©The Vegetarian Society. Find out more at