It’s spring, and everyone seems to be on a cleanse. In honor of the occasion, Heather and our friend Morgan and I made a meal that was (almost) totally vegetarian. (This recipe is vegetarian, don’t worry.)
Cauliflower is a superfood that packs a surprisingly nutty and buttery flavor. In this dish, the parmesan brings out that amazing nutty flavor of the cauliflower, and the egg provides a little protein. And as a bonus, I fried up the leftover parmesan held together with a few drops of egg as a little crisp-yet-melted treat. It was deee-licious.
This recipe is scaled down to half a head of cauliflower. If you blanch the whole head, you can use the leftovers in salads, pureed in place of potatoes, or as a base for a creamy soup.
- 1/2 head cauliflower, trimmed and cut into florets
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 cup fine-grated parmesan
- salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup olive oil
In a large pot, bring 2 quarts of water to boil. Prepare a bowl of ice water, and set aside. When water boils, salt the water and blanch cauliflower florets until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Transfer cauliflower to ice water to stop them from cooking. When cool, pat them dry and cut florets in half.
In a separate bowl, beat eggs until smooth. Stir in salt and pepper to taste. In another bowl, grate parmesan (into little strings, not powder). Set both aside near the stove.
In a frying pan, heat olive oil over high heat until very hot. Dip florets in egg mixture, then dust with parmesan and place immediately in oil. The oil should come about halfway up the side of the cauliflower.
Don’t move florets until the bottoms are golden-brown, about 4-5 minutes. Flip, being careful not to scrape the crust off the cauliflower, and fry until both sides are golden-brown.
Drain on a paper towel, dust with fresh-ground pepper, and serve.