more questions than answers & tasty little fritters
Change it up. Keep it fresh. Variety’s the spice of life. So clichéd, but the same can be said of many of our food choices.
Are we guided by some intention around food and nutrition or do we fall into the habits that we developed growing up? Do we “fear” change, and is that evidenced by what we eat, and refuse to eat, as well? What would it look like if we ate “outside” the boxes we tend to create for ourselves? What would our dinner table feel like if we decided to be adventuresome spirits when it came to food? What if our dinner table became a place we had fun, played, experimented, made a bit of “art”, didn’t fear making “mistakes”? I hope you know, I’m not preaching…just pondering possibilities.
At least once a week we’re trying something very new to us. It’s not always “successful”, but we rarely regret having tried something new. And at least once a week around our house, it’s vegetarian meals only. Do we feel deprived when those days come, like we’re sacrificing something? Oh not one bit! So long as food is full of flavor and easy on the eyes, it satisfies. (Satisfaction turns out to be an important principle, and not just from a pleasure standpoint. Studies have shown that we actually tend to eat less when the foods we eat are flavor-full as opposed to bland or one-dimensional, because they satisfy more quickly. If we’re battling our weight, there’s something to consider.)
These tasty little fritters showed up on our vegetarian menu the other night with cumin-roasted carrots and beautiful green salad…(and then again the next morning for breakfast – can you believe it?) and we were smackin’ our smiling lips…both times.
This recipe comes from Ottolenghi…one can hardly go wrong…
Cauliflower & Cumin Fritters with Lime Yogurt Dipping Sauce
- 1 small cauliflower (about ¾ lb. or 320 g.)
- about ¾ cup flour (4 oz. or 120 g)
- 3 Tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley, plus more to garnish
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 2 shallots, minced
- 4 eggs
- 1½ teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- 1½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- neutral (high-heat) oil for frying – canola, sunflower or grapeseed – about 2 cups (500 ml. or 16 oz.)
Yogurt Lime Sauce
- 10 ounces (300 g.) Greek yogurt
- 2 Tablespoons finely chopped cilantro (fresh coriander)
- grated zest of 1 lime
- 2 Tablespoons lime juice
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- salt & pepper
Combine all the sauce ingredients in a bowl and whisk well. Taste – you’re looking for a vibrant, tart, citrusy flavor. Adjust the seasonings accordingly. Chill or leave at room temperature for up to an hour.
To prepare the cauliflower, trim off any leaves and use a small knife to divide into little florets. Add them to a large pan of boiling salted water and simmer for 15 minutes or 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. 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 frying pan and heat. When it is very hot, carefully spoon in generous portions of the cauliflower mixture, about 3 Tablespoons per fritter. (Careful for splatters!) Space the fritters apart, making sure they’re not overcrowded. Fry in small batches, controlling the oil temperature so that the fritters brown nicely but don’t burn. (With 3 tablespoon fritters, they should take about 3 or so minutes per side.) (Something to consider – when the oil we fry food in is at the right temperature, i.e. hot enough, less of the oil is absorbed by the food. These do not need to taste in the slightest bit “greasy”.)
Remove from the pan to layers of paper towels placed on a cooling rack to absorb any excess oil. Garnish with fresh parsley and serve with dipping sauce.
Serving suggestions: This can of course be part of a vegetarian meal, or a side-dish, say alongside marinated grilled fish, chicken or kabobs.
~ ~ ~
For a printer-friendly version, click here.
~ ~ ~
Recipe modified only slightly from one appearing in Ottolenghi’s The Cookbook.
~ ~ ~