I’ve recently started to enjoy eating all kinds of fried things at home. They’re not the healthiest of foods, but once in a while, they’re so delicious and makes a change from all the ‘good’ food we eat, whether it’s soup, lentils or beans. After eating various fried goodies throughout the year, including Japanese tempura, Chinese pan-fried dumplings, Indian cumin & coriander potato cakes, Sri Lankan fish cutlets and Indonesian crabcakes, I found another tasty treat to make – fritelli di cavolfiore or cauliflower fritters.
The following recipe comes from cookery book My Cousin Rosa – Rosa Mitchell’s Sicilian Kitchen, in which the Australian-based Italian cookery writer and chef presents simple, rustic Sicilian recipes from her family life and childhood, utilising fresh ingredients. I own several Italian cookery books, including the classic The Silver Spoon, but I enjoyed Rosa’s style and easy-to-follow instructions and managed to mark many of the pages with little Post-it notes. My personal favourites have to be polpette (meatballs), ragù di coniglio (rabbit ragù), spaghetti al nero di seppia (spaghetti with squid in black ink sauce), pasta e piselli (pasta with peas), finocchio gratinato (baked fennel) and peparelli (honey & almond biscotti).
Vegetarians will also find more than the average number of meat and seafood-free recipes to follow, including schiaciatta (broccoli pie), zuppa di ceci, porri e patate (chickpea, leek & potato soup), orecchiette con broccoli e acciughe (orecchiette with broccoli and anchovies), pasta con le zucchine fritte (pasta with fresh tomato sauce and parmesan zucchini) and pesto siciliano (Sicilian pesto).
Fritelli do Cavolfiore (Cauliflower Fritters) –
(makes about 20)
- ½ large cauliflower
- 300g (10oz / 2 cups) self-raising flour
- 100g (3½ oz / 1 cup) grated parmesan cheese
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 3 tbsp chopped Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
- olive oil, for frying
Break up all the cauliflower into small pieces. Bring a pot of salted water to the boil, add cauliflower and cook until soft. Drain and cool in a bowl.
Add flour, cheese, garlic, parsley and some salt and pepper to the cauliflower and mix lightly. Add beaten eggs and mix again. if the mixture is too dry, add a little water.
Heat enough oil to cover the base of a frying pan over medium heat. When hot, add tablespoons of the mixture, taking care not to overcrowd them. Cook until golden, turn over and flatten slightly with a fork. Cook on the other side until golden and cooked through to the centre.
Serve hot or at room temperature as a pre-dinner snack. I can proudly announce that my fritters turned out very nicely and will be replicated for the next set of dinner guests!
My Cousin Rosa – Rosa Mitchell’s Sicilian Kitchen is published by Murdoch Books and costs £25.00. Thank you to Murdoch Books for sending me a copy.
Cauliflower Fritters © Helen Yuet Ling Pang