Cauliflower fritters and cauliflower couscous

My lovely neighbour Helen presented me with an enormous cauliflower the other day. This wasn’t as random as it sounds, we had been talking (at a distance) about our joint love of cauliflower cheese. I do feel though, that there is only so much cauliflower cheese you can eat. So in these weird days that we are living through of strange shortages, I knew I had to find another use for the still quite considerable remains of my brassica.

With Canapéase very much in mind, I decided first of all to cook some tiny Cauliflower Fritters. They are quick and easy to make and reheat very successfully. But there was still surplus cauliflower languishing on my chopping board (I did say it was big). I hadn’t tried cauliflower couscous before, but I have now - and it is brilliant, you really wouldn’t know it wasn’t the real thing. I have added one of our favourite couscous recipes below. It makes a great lunch and you can add whatever salad vegetables you have to hand.

But first of all the fritters, which made larger would also make a great lunch or starter.

Ingredients - makes approximately 50 small fritters

60g plain flour

175g cauliflower

2 eggs

5g parsley

2 spring onions, chopped

1 tsp ground cumin

1/4 tsp turmeric

1/8 tsp chilli flakes

Salt and pepper to taste

Sunflower oil to cook

Method

Steam the cauliflower until it is very soft. Cool and squeeze out as much water as possible. The drier the cauliflower the crispier the fritters will be.

Chop the parsley in a food processor. Add the cauliflower and pulse until the cauliflower is beginning to break down. Add the rest of the batter ingredients and combine for a couple of

minutes.

Heat a tablespoon of sunflower oil in a large frying pan and then ladle teaspoonfuls of the batter into the hot oil. Cook until lightly browned, about a couple of minutes, then flip over and continue cooking. Continue until all the batter is used, adding a little more oil to the pan as necessary.

Blot the cooked fritters on kitchen towel before either serving or cooling and storing in the fridge until required.

If reheating the fritters, heat the oven to 190°c. Lightly grease a baking sheet and heat it in the hot oven for a few minutes. Quickly put the fritters on the hot baking sheet and heat for 2 or 3

minutes. Flip over and repeat.

Serve the fritters with a dip such as sour cream and chive:

Sour cream and chive dip

Ingredients

4tbsp sour cream (if you don’t have sour cream, creme fraiche works well too)

2 tbs chopped chives

Salt to taste

Method

Combine everything and leave for a while for the flavours to infuse. Best served at room temperature.

Cauliflower Couscous with asparagus and feta - serves 2 generously

Ingredients

1 small cauliflower

1/2 bunch asparagus, lightly steamed

2 spring onions, sliced

50g Feta cheese, cut into small cubes

2 tbsp flaked almonds

Zest of one lemon

1 tbsp lemon juice

3 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp Dijon mustard

Salt and pepper to taste

1 tbsp chopped parsley

Method

Pulse the cauliflower in a food processor until it resembles rice, don’t overdo it or you will end up with a mush.

Make a dressing with the lemon juice, olive oil and mustard. Season.

Mix the dressing into the cauliflower ‘couscous’.

Cut the asparagus into 2 cm pieces, leaving the tips longer.

Mix the asparagus pieces, spring onions, lemon zest and parsley into the couscous. Sprinkle the flaked almonds and the feta cubes over the top and finally add the asparagus tips. Serve.

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