Cauliflower Patties

By • October 24, 2013 • 50 Comments

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Author Notes: This is a recipe I adapted from my daughter's Nonna Angela Favale who showed me how to make these years ago. I made some simple adjustments and this has been and will remain a favorite side dish for my famiglia for years to come.cucina di mammina

Food52 Review: WHO: Cucina di mammina is an artist, food blogger, and wine lover living in Ft. Myers, Florida.
WHAT: A virtuous, savory pancake studded with shallots and cauliflower.
HOW: Boil your cauliflower; saute your shallots. Mix it all into a batter with flour, eggs, parsley, and cheese, shape into cakes, and pan-fry them.
WHY WE LOVE IT: We love how these little cakes taste like latkes -- but they're more savory, more January-appropriate. We see these as an hors d'oeuvre, or as a light lunch with a salad, or topped with a fried egg for breakfast.
The Editors

Serves about 4 to 6

  • 1 large cauliflower (washed & trimmed into bite size pieces)
  • 3 to 4 shallots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 to 3 small garlic cloves (peeled and finely chopped)
  • 3 to 4 large organic eggs
  • Fresh italian flat leaf parsley
  • 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup grated Romano cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded low moisture mozzarella
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup (or more if needed) unbleached baking flour
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup (or more if needed) whole milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Light olive oil (for cooking)
  1. Place a large stockpot filled with water to boil on the stove top. Once it comes to a full boil, add the prepared cauliflower and cook until tender, but not too mushy. Drain and rinse with cold water, set aside to cool.
  2. Saute the shallots and garlic in olive oil until soft and fragrant; do not brown. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Break the cooked cauliflower pieces down into very small pieces using your hands or a knife. The cauliflower needs to be solid enough to taste and create texture, but not so large as to not allow the patties to cook properly.
  4. Add the eggs, cooked shallots and garlic to the bowl of cauliflower and season with salt and pepper to taste. Mix this well and add some flour and milk to begin creating a batter-like consistency (start with 1/4 cup of each and add more as needed; adjust to get the desired consistency.)
  5. Add the grated cheese, shredded mozzarella and chopped fresh parsley to the mix and blend well until combined. Again, test the thickness here and adjust accordingly adding flour and milk until you are satisfied.
  6. NOTE: The mixture for these patties is a bit of trial and error as it needs to resemble a very thick pancake batter without being too dry or worse, too thin and runny.
  7. Heat a large non-stick skillet to medium-high heat and add drizzle of the light olive oil and test the mixture by spooning a small pattie into the skillet and watch how it cooks and holds its shape.
  8. Use your spatula to press and form the pattie in the skillet as it cooks to make sure it maintains shape and cooks through. Adjust your heat and resist the urge to flip too soon, allow the pattie to cook until light golden brown (about 3-4 minutes each side depending on your stove) before you flip them.
  9. Continue forming and cooking the patties, adding more light olive oil as you go. Remove the cooked patties to a large flat platter to cool (do not overlap them until cooled.) Taste the first patties and adjust your salt and pepper seasoning for the remaining batter, if needed.
  10. I love to serve these after letting them cool as they are much more flavorful at room temperature. These are the ideal hostess side dish (plan to make these during the upcoming holidays) that you can make ahead.
  11. Store them in a sealed container in the refrigerator and simply deliver them to your host and let them come back to room temperature before serving.
Jump to Comments (50)

Comments (50) Questions (0)

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Stringio

16 days ago Christina Stamboly

I chilled the "dough" a little bit so it would, possibly stick together easier. Didn't work. Added a little more flour...they just didn't want to form in patties to fry them. I ended up frying the "mixture" in some hot oil. Would have preferred the patties. What did I do wrong?

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14 days ago cucina di mammina

actually chilling the dough makes it harder to cook them through, this batter works better at room temperature. the batter should resemble a very thick pancake batter or like a batter when making potato pancakes.

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14 days ago cucina di mammina

Christina... do not add too much liquid as the eggs are mostly the "wet" part of the batter here. I will start to mix my batter without the milk and just slowly add as needed. I hope this helps :)

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about 1 month ago Windischgirl

My folks had just visited for the week, and when they come, Mom empties the contents of her fridge into mine. I discovered she left most of a head of cauliflower and half a package of fresh mozzarella...this recipe appeared at the perfect time! I seasoned the batter with a pinch of asafetida (garlicky flavor since I can't digest garlic), some freshly grated nutmeg, and a splash of Frank's sauce (I'm from Buffalo, after all). Frying up the last of the batter between bites. Yum! I'm ashamed to admit I'm topping them with ketchup; I think they'd be fabulous with some of Nonna's red gravy. Thank you!

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about 1 month ago Windischgirl

Oh forgot to mention: I cut the cauliflower into small florets and microwaved until just tender--so easy!

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about 1 month ago cucina di mammina

Love this story, Windischgirl! I'm from Schenectady, New York and have many great friends from Buffalo :)

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about 1 month ago Marisa Carder

Instead of cooking these on the stovetop, could you bake them in the oven? I saw a post where someone cooks pancakes in the oven, would these work too?

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about 1 month ago cucina di mammina

Marisa Carder, I am not sure how these would work in the oven, I would suggest starting them at a moderate temperature to allow them to cook through and to flip and cook the other side (be sure to use plenty of oven spray on your baking sheet so they don't stick!!)

Stringio

about 1 month ago Christina Stamboly

can't wait to make these patties as a side to Thanksgiving dinner!

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about 1 month ago cucina di mammina

Christina Stamboly, thanks for the kind comment and I hope you and your family enjoy my recipe for the Thanksgiving holiday this year. I highly suggest you make these well in advance and they do take some time, you can even make them a day ahead and simply reheat before serving. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

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about 1 month ago sarah patton

Made these last night and they were delicious! I added some chopped ham and we had them for dinner. I found that judging the doneness of the cauliflower and the thickness of the batter to be a little nerve wracking but they came out beautifully and we gobbled them up. I used a large head of cauliflower and it makes a ton of pancakes - you have to stand there a long time to cook them all. Would be good to start earlier in the day and have them all done before supper!

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about 1 month ago cucina di mammina

sarah patton, I am thrilled to hear you tried my recipe and you loved them! Yes, they are indeed a bit labor intensive to cook all of them at the same time, I to have to adjust the heat and check them often to be sure they cook through but do not burn.

Love that you added the chopped ham (great idea!) and as I suggested to Holly Schelowitz, in removing the cheese a bit of smoked ham or chopped crispy bacon would be an excellent addition. Thanks so much for commenting and please stay in touch!

Open-uri20141016-22390-20vzqe

2 months ago Holly Shelowitz

this sounds wonderful. I wonder how I can adapt the recipe to be dairy free... any ideas? I will experiment- possibly more egg and flour..

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about 1 month ago cucina di mammina

Hello Holly :)
I think you could easily use a dairy free option here, maybe Soy or Almond milk instead of dairy milk? You definitely need some liquid as the eggs are too dry without it, possible even try using a small mount of vegetable stock to thin the final batter. Please let me know if you try any of these options and how it works out for you, I would like to add options to my food blog for all my followers too

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about 1 month ago Holly Shelowitz

Hi Cucina- I meant without the cheese- sorry I wasn't clear!

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about 1 month ago cucina di mammina

Oh! No problem, Holly Shelowitz :) You can certainly make these and omit the cheese. I would maybe add some additional herbs to boost the flavor profile when doing this and do as I do.... Make one pattie first, allow it to cool and taste it so you can adjust the seasonings and flavors of the main batch before cooking. Another tip for added flavor is to add some chopped cooked bacon or smoked ham for the missing cheese /salt profile.

Mami_2.1.1

3 months ago bonheurcuisine

sooo good!

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3 months ago cucina di mammina

Thank you for commenting! So happy you like these :)

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7 months ago cucina di mammina

Diana, that is so wonderful that you find my recipe connecting you to a food you loved! Very cool that El Tecolote made something similar, I would love to try their version someday :) You can certainly serve this with a spicy tomato sauce on the side... actually , I might have to do that for my famiglia next time. Thanks for commenting and for the sauce idea.

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7 months ago Diana strain

El Tecolote Mexican restaurant in San Diego used to serve these and I always ordered them, try as I might to order something different. Since they closed I've searched for a similar recipe and at last I think this is it! They served it with a spicy tomato sauce. Thanks so much. : )

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7 months ago Diana strain

El T

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8 months ago cucina di mammina

Thanks Anette P! You can steam or boil (I only cook long enough to be slightly tender.) love the use of almond milk here. I look forward to trying that myself next time :)

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8 months ago Anette P

Wow! Great recipe. I steamed the caullflower as I wasn't sure if boiling it would remove some flavor. I also substituted whole wheat flour and almond milk and they were fabulous. This recipe is a keeper! Thanks!

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9 months ago Black Girl, Will Travel

Love these...

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9 months ago cucina di mammina

Thanks for your kind comment! So happy to know you like this recipe, it is one of my family's favorite.

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9 months ago cucina di mammina

Thank you so much for commenting, Alexandra Parsons! I would love the idea of a curry version of these patties... will you be posting your recipe here on Food52? Let me know as I would love to try your version too :)

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9 months ago Alexandra Parsons

I have made a curried version of these before, so it's nice to see another version and use of wonderful cauliflower!
My curried cauliflower patties are a fav for lunch with salad, supper with fish and even breakfast with rocket and a poached egg on top! Yummo

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10 months ago Candace Honey

This sounds fantastic but I can't do flour! Do you think this would be possible with almond flour?

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10 months ago cucina di mammina

Candace Honey... thanks for commenting and I think you could certainly use almond flour (I would test it for right amount and how it affects the flavor). I work with some gluten free flours like potato and chestnut flour which could be worth testing too.
I would check into the new gluten free flour mixes and see if they hold up to the test of thickening without getting too sticky or chewy.

I would love to hear from you after you try this and get your permission to share your modifications with my food blog followers ( I will certainly credit you for the testing!)

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10 months ago Barbara

What a great idea - trying to incorporate more vegetable dishes and my family went crazy over these - thank you so much

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10 months ago cucina di mammina

Thanks for the feedback, Barbara! I hope you enjoy them as much as we do... It's heartwarming to see people enjoying the same foods I have loved since I was a young girl :)

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10 months ago cucina di mammina

Thanks Jan! I am so happy to hear you and your husband enjoyed this dish... Love the idea of adding a poached egg, will try his next time. We love to make a size able batch and freeze some for later, great after school snack or start of a quick weeknight meal. Grazie tante :)

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10 months ago Jan

These are delish! My husband has been eating them for breakfast witha pooched egg on top. Also, they freeze really well, just defrost and heat on griddle. Thanks, for a great recipe to add to the "go to" list!

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10 months ago jen

A great savory treat...used whole wheat flour and 2% milk and didn't effect the great flavor. Would love an idea for a dipping sauce or something to pour over it...felt like it needed that.

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10 months ago cucina di mammina

Thanks for the great feedback Jen! love to hear the ingredient change worked... a dipping sauce, hmmmm. I will have to think about one that would work possibly work. Maybe something made with Greek yogurt as a base so it stays healthy.