Crocchette di cavolfiore
Crisp Cauliflower Fritters
I saw a photo of crisp cauliflower fritters on Pinterest, and just knew I had to make them. Only problem was, there was no recipe attached to the pin, so I had to develop my own.
In Denmark cauliflower is traditionally eaten as a sidedish, after it has been either boiled or baked with a cheese sauce as a gratin, but there are so many other delicious ways to prepare this highly nutritious vegetable. Try for instance the cauliflower loaf, raw cauliflower salad, a cream of cauliflower soup, or the traditional Neapolitan rinforzo salad.
These crisp cauliflower fritters are bound to become a family favour. The recipe is based on the cauliflower croquettes found in the Silverspoon cookbook, but I’ve left out the breadcrumb coating and added a little kick to the taste. Il Cucchiaio D’Argento does not list the regional origin of the dish, and I suspect you can find it in slightly different versions all over Italy (and the rest of the world for that matter), but several internet sites quote it as a speciality from Sicily. They also add garlic to the ingredients, but after trying it, I found the combination too penetrating and left it out. Now the result is just perfect – according to my taste.
1 small cauliflower
120 g flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 small eggs
1 pinch of cayenne pepper
100 g freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Salt, pepper and olive oil for frying
Separate the cauliflower in florets, put them in a saucepan, cover in water with a little salt and boil for 10 minutes.
Let the cauliflower cool and mash it roughly.
Sprinkle flour, cayenne, salt, pepper and baking powder over the cauliflowers and mix thoroughly.
Add the eggs and the grated cheese, mix well and leave the batter to settle for 10 minutes or more.
Heat the live oil in a non-stick frying pan and spoon batter onto the pan.
Fry on both sides until the cauliflower fritters are crisp and golden brown and absolutely irresistible.
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My family brought a similar recipe with them when they came from Sicily to the US in the early 1900s. We don’t mash, we drop the florets in the batter whole. A crowd favorite that never seems to make it to the table.
I do the whole florets in batter too sometimes, and you’re right that it is basically the same recipe. The only difference is that the fritters can be made in a frying pan, where as the floret need a deep fry.
I just roasted a cauliflower for dinner this evening. Was delicious! I’m experimenting with other ways of making it so I might try this. Trying to think what I could use instead of the eggs.
Substituting eggs is always tricky, but I suppose mashed potatoes and a little baking powder could help binding the loaf.
Hi. My mother has been making cauliflower fritters “frittelle” for us since we moved from Italy when I was a toddler. I have never seen her use egg in her preparation… only a little bit of warm water; although I have seen other recipes that use milk. As Mette stated, this is one of those regional dishes that probably has dozens of variations throughout Italy. I’m sure they all produce a nicely crisped fritter. Give it a try!
Thank you sharing your mothers version of cauliflower fritters. I guess the eggs make the fritters more like a vegetarian patty.