Good morning. Stop Everything. Whatever you were up to in the kitchen, cereal, oatmeal, eggs, bacon, what have you—just stop. Find the almost-molding cauliflower head calling for help from the back of your fridge. She wants to be a breakfast fritter. Make her vegetable dream come true.
Cauliflower and Cumin Fritters with Lime Sauce
Adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi’s new cookbook, Jerusalem (which I desperately want on my shelf after having tried these tasty fritters)
1 1/3 cups Greek yogurt
2 tbsp finely chopped cilantro
grated zest of 1 lime
2 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 small cauliflower
scant 1 cup all-purpose flour
3 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley, plus a few extra leaves for garnish
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 shallots, finely chopped
1½ tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground turmeric
1½ tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 cups EV olive oil for frying
To make the sauce, put all the sauce ingredients in a bowl and whisk well. Taste—looking for a vibrant, tart, citrusy flavor—and adjust the seasoning. Chill or leave out for up to an hour. I made half of the recipe, and used EVOO-based mayonnaise because I didn’t have any plain yogurt (ahem, because someone in the post office stole my yogurt machine, methinks).
To prepare the cauliflower, trim off any leaves and use a small knife to divide the cauliflower into little florets. Add them to a large pan of boiling salted water and simmer for 15 minutes, until very soft. Drain into a colander.
While the cauliflower is cooking, put the flour, chopped parsley, garlic, shallots, eggs, spices, salt, and pepper in a bowl and whisk together well to make a batter. When the mixture is smooth and homogenous, add the warm cauliflower. Mix to break down the cauliflower into the batter.
Pour the oil into a wide pan to a depth of ¼ inch and place over moderate heat. When it is very hot, carefully spoon in generous portions of the cauliflower mixture, 3 tablespoons per fritter. Take care with the hot oil! Space the fritters apart with a slotted spoon, making sure they are not overcrowded. Fry in small batches, controlling the oil temperature so the fritters cook but don’t burn. They should take 3 to 4 minutes on each side.
Remove from the pan and drain well on a few layers of paper towels. Serve with the sauce on the side.
I can’t believe I’m saying this but the cauliflower tasted just like fish in the context of the shallots and spice. These are as good as, if not better than, the salmon cakes I made a few weeks ago.