This recipe makes me want to change out of my farm clothes, put on a dress, and head to a dinner party armed with a batch of these fritters. Unfortunately, that's not going to happen anytime soon since our organic farm is in full swing for the season and our free time is rare.
Last weekend, I was so grateful for all of the extra hands helping us out on the farm that I decided to treat everyone to these delicious cauliflower fritters. It wasn't an elegant dinner party, but these little delights were just what the doctor ordered. We enjoyed them in dirty farm clothes with a couple of beers and they were absolutely perfect. No fancy dress necessary.
What I love about these fritters is that they highlight some of the season's best flavor combinations, plus they are gluten free! Mint and peas have always been a favorite of mine, and they pair perfectly with these crispy cauliflower fritters. If you can refrain from eating the entire spread with a spoon, you will likely have leftovers — they taste great on crusty bread, pasta, or even roasted potatoes. Go wild!
Food like this tastes best with good friends and your favorite beverage. Cheers.
Cauliflower Fritters with Mint & Pea Spread
Serves 8 to 10
For the spread: 2 cups peas, blanched if fresh or thawed if frozen
1/4 cup mint leaves, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to thin if necessary
For the fritters:
1 small head cauliflower, cut into florets (about 2 1/2 cups worth)
1/2 cup chickpea flour
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 to 3 tablespoons grapeseed oil for frying
Prepare the pea spread by combining the peas, mint leaves, garlic, walnuts, parmesan, lemon juice, pepper flakes and sea salt in a food processor or blender. Process until finely chopped, scraping down the sides as necessary. With the motor running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Process until everything is well-combined but still a little chunky. Taste and add more salt or pepper to taste.
For the fritters, combine the cauliflower florets with 4 cups of water in a large pot. Bring to a boil and cook until cauliflower is tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain and pat the cauliflower dry. Transfer to a cutting board and finely-chop the florets.
Place the chopped cauliflower in a large bowl. Add the chickpea flour and toss until evenly coated. Stir in the cheese, scallions, egg, and salt.
Heat the grapeseed oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot (you can test this by sprinkling a tiny water in the pan, it should hiss when hot enough), add about 1/4 cup of cauliflower batter to the pan. Use a spoon, spatula, or the backside of the measuring cup to flatten the fritter into a uniform shape. Add as many fritters to the pan as can fit without overcrowding. Cook until browned and crisp on the underside, 3 to 5 minutes. Flip fritters and repeat on the opposite side.
Serve while warm with the pea spread.
This recipe will leave you with a little extra pea spread. It will keep well in the refrigerator for up to 4 days and is great with crusty bread, pasta, or even roasted potatoes.