Mark Twain once described cauliflower as, “nothing but cabbage with a college education.” Obviously Mr. Twain did not properly appreciate cauliflower, but then he probably wasn’t eating it the right way. In our house, our favorite way to eat that wonderful vegetable is as a cauliflower patty, or fritter, if you will.
My mother used to make cauliflower patties for us all the time. It was always a treat that I looked forward to. I have vivid memories of trying to patiently wait for the next batch to be out of the fry pan and ready to gobble down. It was probably nearly impossible for my mom to cook them as fast as my brothers and I could eat them.
My mom always fried hers in oil, and I really miss eating them that way. However ever since I had my gall bladder out, fried foods and I are no longer friends, so I stick to using cooking spray instead. If you decide to fry them in oil, please remember to eat one for me.
Cauliflower Patties Recipe
2 cups cauliflower broken into small pieces
1 cup of flour
1 tablespoon finely chopped onion (optional)
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon parsley
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon minced garlic
½ cooking liquid saved from cooking cauliflower (could also use milk)
1 cup shredded/grated cheese (sharp cheddar, Colby, mozzarella, parmesan, etc. or some combination of cheeses)
Olive oil for frying (or cooking spray if you’re trying to keep it lower fat)
1) Break fresh cauliflower into small pieces and put into a small saucepan. Add enough water to cover cauliflower pieces and boil until tender. DO NOT DRAIN WATER.
2) Using a slotted spoon, remove cooked cauliflower pieces to a medium sized mixing bowl. Set cooking water aside for later. Allow cauliflower to cool a bit.
3) When cauliflower is cooled a bit, add flour, onions if using, salt, pepper, herbs, garlic, and eggs to bowl and combine.
4) Add ½ cup of saved cooking liquid to create a batter the consistency of pancake batter. If desired, use milk instead of cooking liquid.
5) Mix shredded/grated cheese into the batter.
6) Heat olive oil in a fry pan over medium heat or spray pan with cooking oil.
7) When oil is hot, carefully drop ¼ cup pools of batter into pan. (I can usually make 2-3 patties at a time in my fry pan.) Cook patties for 4-5 minutes, about 2 minutes or so per side. If frying patties in oil, move cooked patties to a paper towel lined plate to drain excess oil. If using cooking spray, the paper towels are unnecessary. (The fried ones taste best, but they are probably healthier without all the oil.)
1) I usually serve mine with plenty of salt and pepper.
2) Try serving with marinara sauce for dipping.
1) If you don’t like cauliflower, try using shredded zucchini in the batter instead. If using zucchini, I normally increase the amount of onion I use with it. Broccoflower is a good substitute as well if you are lucky enough to find some in your local grocery store. I can never seem to find it when I am specifically looking for it.
2) Leftover cooked patties warm up pretty well the next day.
* Batter makes about 10 cauliflower patties.