Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Cauliflower Fritters with Lime Yoghurt

Ah, the humble cauliflower. Le chou fleur. Das blumenkohl. A much maligned vegetable that even I don't really like that much (and I eat most things. Apart from aubergine but I'm working on that. And fresh coriander but is it me or does it just taste like soap?!). Sure, smother it in cheese sauce and bake with a breadcrumb top and it's great, but then what isn't improved with cheese sauce?

Enter the fabulous gentlemen at Ottolenghi. Ottolenghi is a bit of a London institution, run by Yotam Ottolenghi and head chef Sami Tamimi, and I have been head over heels about their food ever since JJ gave me the recipe book last Christmas. Definitely my most used recipe book! Love it. Now, I don't know how they manage it, but they can take something as ordinary as a french bean and make a salad with it that you just long to eat forever. Or broccoli - I like broccoli but I like it even more when seared and mixed with garlic and chilli! But I doubted that even they could make a cauliflower tasty. But boy, was I was wrong! Oh how wrong.

These are just delicious - easy to make, wonderfully flavoured and so filling. And if you can't be bothered with the yoghurt, just grate a bit of garlic into some mayonnaise and mix with a bit of seasoning. Although the yoghurt is REALLY good...

Cauliflower Fritters with Lime Yoghurt
Adapted from Ottolenghi: The Cookbook

1 small cauliflower
120g Plain flour
3 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 shallots, finely chopped
4 eggs
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 1/2 tsp salt (don't be afraid - it needs a very generous season)
1 tsp ground black pepper
ca. 500ml sunflower (or other flavourless) oil

Lime Yoghurt
300g Greek yoghurt
2 tbsp chopped mint and parsley (the recipe states coriander but I'm just not that keen on raw coriander)
Grated zest of 1 lime
Juice of 1 1/2 - 2 limes
2 tbsp Olive oil
salt and pepper

First, make the yoghurt by mixing up the yoghurt, herbs, lime zest and some of the juice, olive oil and seasoning. Taste and add more lime juice or seasoning until you have a 'vibrant, tart, citrusy flavour'. Refrigerate or leave out for up to an hour.

Prepare the cauliflower, dividing it into florets. Add to a large pan of boiling salted water and simmer for 15 minutes or until very soft. Drain into a colander.

Put the flour, chopped parsley, garlic, shallots, eggs, spices, salt and pepper in a bowl and whisk into a batter. When the mixture is smooth, add the warm cauliflower. Mix to break down cauliflower into the batter.

Pour sunflower oil into a pan – 1.5cm depth – and heat. When hot, spoon in the cauliflower mixture, I did about 2 tablespoons per fritter. Fry in small batches, controlling oil temperature so the fritters cook but don’t burn. They should take 3-4 minutes on each side.

Remove from pan and drain on a kitchen paper. Serve with sauce on the side. They're wonderful with pita bread and a green salad.
Rosy xx

1 comment:

  1. THat sounds really delicious, but I happen to love cauliflower! And yes, fresh coriander definitely tastes like soap.