Once in a while I make fritters. I don’t deep fry them in oil but rather cook them on a lightly oiled electric griddle, much like you would cook pancakes. They are delicious and can be served as an “entree” of a vegetarian meal, or if you make them small they are nice as an appetizer. I posted other fritters recipes a while back here and here and they generated a lot of traffic on the site so it seems that we do like fritters.
This time I had a cauliflower in the fridge that needed to be used as it has been lounging there chilling for about a week. Cauliflower is not like green beans, say, that need to be used asap. It lasts a little longer, especially if you buy it market fresh, but still, I like to turn things over at a fairly fast rate in my kitchen, and a week is pretty long here.
I could have used my standard fritters recipe and add cauliflower but decided to look around my cookbooks to see what professional cooks do with cauliflower fritters. The recipes were largely similar. I decided to go with the Yotam Ottolenghi recipe from his new book Ottolenghi The Cookbook, written by Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi, his business partner and head chef at the Ottolenghi restaurant in London (yes, England). I am sure you have heard of him. Both Yotam and Tamimi were born and raised in Jerusalem, Ottolenghi in the Jewish community. Tamimi in the muslim community. Although they lived within a few blocks from each other they might as well have lived on different continents. Their paths didn’t cross until later in life in London. They became partners at the famed restaurant Ottolenghi and co-authored the cookbooks Jerusalem and now Ottolenghi the Cookbook. I should mention that the Ottolenghi book Plenty was the first to be published and became an instant institution in the cookbook readers community. I have been rebuilding my cookbook library after the fire and repurchased the three books as I like their style of cooking.
I started the recipe one day only to realize I had no eggs in the fridge. By then I had already cooked the cauliflower so I refrigerated it until the next day and reheated it before proceeding with the recipe. I like recipes that can be partially prepared in advance, especially when cooking for company, so you could easily cook the cauliflower in advance and get the dry ingredients ready ahead of time and proceed with the recipe when you are ready.
As it goes with recipes, you always need to adjust something to make it successfully in your own kitchen and the recipe below is an adaptation of the recipe from the book. When I followed the instructions and added all the batter ingredients together I could not get rid of the lumps. So, into the food processor it went to be smoothed out. Feel free to make the recipe straight from their book, available in Chapters-Indigo, Amazon or your local bookstores. If you haven’t heard of them before, at least now you know about it:).
Note: I often get asked about the dishes I use so I thought I’d pre-empt by letting you know that the colourful plates in the images are from the beautiful store Olive and Elle in Kelowna. Everything in this store is gorgeous, bath products, linen, table top, even the jewelry.
1 cup al purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 Teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 shallot, minced
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
1/4 cup chives, chopped
1/2 cup grated cheddar
Cut the cauliflower into small florets. Place in a steamer basket over water and bring to a boil. Cook until cauliflower is fully cooked. Remove and place in a food processor and pulse a few times to chop it but not mash it. set aside until needed.
Combine the flour, baking powder, spices, salt and pepper and mix to blend.
In another bowl combine the eggs, garlic, shallot and parsley.
Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and mix until you have a relatively smooth batter. If it remains too lumpy place the batter in a food processor and process until smooth.
Add the cauliflower and cheddar cheese to the batter and mix with a spatula (not in the food processor). Let rest about 10 minutes before proceeding.
Set an electric griddle to about 400℉ or heat a flat pan to medium high heat.
Pour a little oil onto the griddle or pan and brush it around to spread it. You are not deep frying these. Think of how you would cook pancakes and do the same with these.
Using an ice cream scoop the size of your choice scoop out the batter and place onto the griddle/pan.
Let cook until golden on the underside. You can lift the edges to check if the underside is cooked.
Flip over with a wide spatula and cook the other side.
As they are done, place the fritters on a paper lined plate to absorb any remaining oil.
1 cup yogurt
1/2 cup sour cream
Juice of 1/2 a lemon (more if needed)
Grated zest of 1/2 a lemon
1 tablespoon olive oil, optional
Salt and pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix.