The cauliflower is a rather humble vegetable. Growing up, we had it boiled, steamed or cold in a salad. There is so much more to do with it though.
It is quickly becoming an upmarket ingredient starring in TV programs such as Professional Masterchef with dishes like ‘Cauliflower Steak’ and ‘Cauliflower 4 Ways’ regularly featuring in the lineups.
While staying with my good friend Rachel Creeger (Comedian, Director, Writer and Speaker!) recently, I was treated to a very decadent pan-fried cauliflower steak. I can’t imagine where the idea came from!
My favourite home recipes for cauliflower are roasted cauliflower with techina (sesame seed paste), cauliflower curry and fried breaded cauliflower. After a little trial and error, I have perfected my fried cauliflower treats and the bonus is that they are vegan (I am vegetarian) and can be gluten-free if using gluten-free bread crumbs!
Here is my take on the humble fried cauliflower – as always, I don’t use weights and measures and everything is to ‘to taste’. It is how I keep my recipes stress free.
- Lentil Flour
- Nutritional Yeast
- Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder, Coriander
- Oil for shallow frying (or deep frying if you so wish) and some kitchen paper/kitchen towels/clean cloth to drain excess oil
Lentil flour and water makes a paste or batter. It can actually be fried like an omelette and is delicious with spices and/or cheese. You can use chickpea flour to do the same thing and in this recipe instead, but the colour won’t be as good. Using Lentil or Chickpea flour adds protein to the recipe. Its super easy to work with and you really can’t go wrong amounts wise.
If you don’t have nutritional yeast or don’t like it (or know what it is), just leave it out. It adds flavour but it isn’t necessary for the recipe if you don’t want to use it.
You can use any spices that you want to use. Don’t be limited by my meagre list. I was in a hurry as always.
Yes, you could oven cook them. No, they probably won’t be quite as nice.
Here comes the easy bit. There are basically three stages.
1. Make a batter and pop the cauliflower into it.
To make the batter, add some seasoning to some lentil flour and add a little water. Add more water and stir until you get a batter like paste, that will stick the cauliflower, rather than running off it but isn’t too ‘gloopy’.
2. Pour the cauliflower into breadcrumbs.
You can put the breadcrumbs in a tub or dish or on a place or in a bag and throw the cauliflower on top/in and toss it all around till coated as best as possible. You can add more seasoning if you like too. We aren’t doing Masterchef here – it will taste fine however it is covered. Don’t try too hard and spoil the enjoyment, please.
3. Fry in small batches.
Heat some oil until ready to fry and use a slotted spoon or similar utensil to fry the cauliflower morsels in small batches that do not crowd the pan. If you have a deep fat fryer you could use it I imagine. I have never had one and I don’t see that changing in the future. It would simply take my diet to new levels of unhealthiness. (I’m currently drooling over the idea of deep-fried onion bhajis and vegetable pakoras in the said imaginary machine.)
That’s it – it is that simple. Enjoy.