The Sicilian cauliflowers fritters. It is one of my favorite snack or side dish because it’s a light and exquisite delicacy, with an appetizing aroma and an addictive taste.
Makes: 25 to 30 fritters
- 1 cauliflower (1½ to 2 lb.)
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 2 medium eggs
- ½ cup of your preferred grated cheese
- ¼ cup minced parsley
- 1 tablespoon toasted pine nuts (optional)
- 1 tablespoon currants soaked in water (optional)
- Salt and pepper
- 1 cup breadcrumbs (more or less to get a workable, firm mixture)
- 1 cup flour for dipping the fritters
- Oil for frying
- Trim the cauliflower discarding the stems and leaves; cut to separate it into florets and soak in cold water for 30minutes.
- In a 6 quart sauce pot, over a high flame, bring 3 quarts of water to a boil.
- When the water boils, add 1 tablespoon of salt, wash the cauliflower and drop into pot.
- When the water returns to a boil, cook for 7 minutes, drain and set on side.
- In a large sauté pot heat the 3 tablespoons of olive oil.
- Add the chopped onions and sauté until translucent.
- Add the cauliflower, raise heat to high and while stirring slowly, add the toasted pine nuts and drained currants.
- Cook for 5 minutes than lower the flame.
- If the cauliflower attaches to the pot and turns lightly brown, it is the sweetness of the onion caramelizing, which gives the cauliflower a unique smell and taste.
- Lower the flame, start to mash the cauliflower with a fork and simmer for about 10 minutes.
- Add pepper to taste and check if salt is needed.
- Transfer the crushed cauliflower to a bowl and when it cools off add the eggs lightly beaten, the cheese, parsley and ¼ cup of breadcrumbs.
- Add more breadcrumbs if needed in order to get the mixture to a workable consistency.
- Form the mixture into balls1½ inch in diameter, roll into flour and gently pat into patties. Set on a well floured pan.
- Heat a heavy duty skillet with olive oil ½ inch deep.
- At 350 degree, before it starts to smoke (at 375 degrees) drop the fritters, “le polpette di cavolfiore” a few at the time until golden, typically 5 minutes at each side.
- Drain on paper towels. Serve hot, but at room temperature are even tastier.