Cauliflower Patties

October 24, 2013

Test Kitchen-Approved

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
Prep time: 25 min
Cook time: 25 min

Ingredients

  • 1 large cauliflower (washed & trimmed into bite size pieces)
  • 3 shallots, peeled and chopped
  • 3 small garlic cloves (peeled and finely chopped)
  • 3 large organic eggs
  • 1 handful Fresh Italian flat leaf parsley
  • 1/2 cup grated Romano cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded low moisture mozzarella
  • 1/4 cup (or more if needed) unbleached baking flour
  • 1/4 cup (or more if needed) whole milk
  • 1 pinch Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon Light olive oil (for cooking)
In This Recipe

Directions

  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.

More Great Recipes:
Fritter|Italian|Milk/Cream|Mozzarella|Parsley|Vegetable|Shallot|Cauliflower|Make Ahead|Fall|Winter|Side

Reviews (84) Questions (0)

84 Reviews

knittingbaker April 24, 2018
These are really delicious! As the recipe indicated, I added flour and then milk a little at a time to get the right consistency. My cauliflower let out quite a bit of moisture when I broke it up (with my potato masher), so I only ended up using about 2T of milk after adding 1/4 of flour. My patties fried up beautifully and they were delicious. I will make again!
 
Author Comment
cucina D. April 25, 2018
Grazie knittingbaker 😊 yes, getting the consistency correct is key to the finished mix... the levels of humidity here in Florida affect mine so I just adjust accordingly ~ I’m always so happy to have my foodie friends try and love my recipes, I am working on some new famiglia favorites that I will be posting soon
 
Author Comment
cucina D. February 3, 2018
Grazie Nicole Blumberg for the breakdown, having been raised European our famiglia never diets or counts calories, healthy eating for us is based on a balance of meal portions and lots of walking and red wine ✌️❤️
 
Nicole B. March 6, 2017
If anyone is interested 284 calories per serving (6 servings) You know, for the health concerned. I always wish there were nutrition facts incorporated in all the meals so I thought I would help out when I can for at least calories.
 
Dave &. February 14, 2017
OK. These are crazy good! Followed original recipe and they came out fabulously. Anyone that can make pancakes will have no trouble with this. I have made it half a dozen times in the last couple months. They freeze & reheat exceptionally well - do it like you would fruit, laying them flat on a parchment covered baking sheet, once frozen pop them into a zip lock bag, reheat gently in a 300° oven (I used my toaster oven) on a cookie sheet until warmed through. I too have used the newly available (at least in my area) riced cauliflower - big time saver. A few tricks I use when making these: 1. while cooking in the fry pan, I sprinkle a wee bit of sea salt & a grind of pepper on the "raw" side (before flipping) 2. I use cookie dough scoops to get uniform size patties - large or small - the large size is perfect for more of an entree size serving, the small size works great for more of an appetizer serving - be sure to tap down the "ball" with the scoop to flatten the pattie 3. I use King Arthur gluten-free flour 4. I use avocado oil as it has a higher smoke point. Such a fantastic recipe! :)
 
Author Comment
cucina D. February 14, 2017
Your comment is SO appreciated! These have been in my family, original recipe taught to me by my daughter's Nonna on their Dad's side of the family :) I love that you are using gluten free flour and an ice cream scoop, I need to try this too now! I am definitely going to try the avocado oil next time, I have been using this oil for years but not in this recipe. Grazie tante and enjoy!
 
Michelle T. December 29, 2016
Made these tonight w/2 eggs, parm instead of romano, and about a third of a cup flour/milk. I did caramelize the shallots before adding them. I also cheated by using a 10 oz bag of frozen, riced organic cauliflower. ;) Kids and spouse loved them.
 
Author Comment
cucina D. February 14, 2017
Michelle Trim, thanks so much for trying my recipe and yes, now you can find riced cauliflower at most stores :) Thrilled that you and your family loved these, a great healthy food option.
 
tamater S. December 23, 2016
Since many of the comments talked about the batter being loose, I cut the cauli smaller than bite size, and rather than boiling, I microwaved it in a lidded glass bowl. After 5 minutes I tossed it into my sieve, and let it sit in the oven while I prepped the other stuff. Instead of the 1/4 - 1/2 c. milk, I added a splash, (1-2 T. I'm guessing, of heavy cream). <br /><br />It was good, and I was glad I read the readers comments - 52 is the one place I consistently do that, because of the quality feed back here. Cheers, y'all!
 
Lisa C. September 28, 2016
Will be preparing this tonight, but will Paleo-it-up. Wheat Market baking mix and no sugar added coconut milk to replace flour and w. milk. Will let you know the results.
 
bottomupfood May 25, 2016
I've made this recipe five times and my husband, my 1.5yo, and I love it. The patties are also great as leftovers. It is especially good with an avocado and lawrie salt or with sriracha. We use whole flour instead of white and generally need to use four eggs instead of three.
 
Author Comment
cucina D. May 26, 2016
thanks soo much for your kind comments on my recipe... I love that you are using whole flour, I tend to mix mine up too, my new version uses a brown rice flour we love! I too have noticed that the amount of eggs needed can differ based on the size of the eggs used. So happy your 1.5 year old loves these, my girls (who are teens now) still come running when I make these :)
 
Author Comment
cucina D. April 3, 2016
Hello Rose ~ Windischgirl is correct! You can remove them, no problem with the consistency.<br />If it's only the flavor of shallots that's the issue, you can replace with finely chopped mild sweet onion or even scallions.
 
Rose April 3, 2016
can you make without shallots? My entire family hates them. Would it ruin the consistency?
 
Windischgirl April 3, 2016
Hi Rose, the patties will be fine without shallots. My kids and I cannot digest anything in the onion family (those stinky FODMAPs!), so I routinely leave them out of recipes without affecting the quality. Add a little more cauliflower if you think the texture is too runny.
 
Jennifer January 31, 2016
Tried for the first time today and LOVED it!! Kids and hubby also approved. I made the batter first and then added veggies and cheeses. That helped me keep the batter consistency. Delicious and thank you for sharing!
 
Author Comment
cucina D. February 1, 2016
thanks so much Jennifer! Thrilled to hear you and your family loved these as much as we do, they are a perfect snack, appetizer and side to a meal in any season.
 
Lucie M. January 22, 2016
I had a little trouble with these but brilliant flavours. I even received great reviews from a self proclaimed hater of cauliflower. Not anymore! I think I need to make sure I break up the florets enough, blanched to the perfect point, so that wasn't the problem. But they didn't hold together. And I really felt like I added so much flour (1cup) that they only tasted like flour. I might have gone too heavy on the milk. I read where you only add if necessary. I'll try them again and again because I make veggie patties quite regularly and freeze in parchment. I also eat for lunch with a poached egg. CheerS!
 
Author Comment
cucina D. January 22, 2016
Lucie Moulton -- thank you fir trying out my recipe! Don't add too much flour as they will taste too doughy.<br /><br />Think more of a consistency of frittata than pancake... It's a bit of trial & error.
 
Danielle F. December 26, 2015
My daughter is allergic to eggs. What can I use as a substitute?
 
Author Comment
cucina D. December 28, 2015
Hello Daniell
 
Author Comment
cucina D. December 28, 2015
Happy Holidays! Visit this link for egg allergy substitutes, one of these might work. http://www.m.webmd.com/allergies/food-substitutes-for-egg-allergy
 
anne R. December 4, 2015
I made these last week and they turned out perfect. Instead of starting with a whole head of cauliflower, I bought the cauliflower crumbles instead. Pretty followed the recipe and i baked half and fried half. Both were excellent. I plan on making them again this weekend
 
Author Comment
cucina D. December 6, 2015
cioa anne :)<br />love that you tested out a fried and baked version, I do this too depending on my mood. love that you tried these, please share with your friends and family too!
 
Nancy G. December 3, 2015
These sound and look wonderful. I'm going to try them tomorrow night. I'll let you know how they turn out. :-)
 
Author Comment
cucina D. December 6, 2015
thanks for your interest in my recipe above. the batter is simple, the consistency is important to keep their shape, should be similar to a pancake batter in density. let me know what you think, hope you love them as much as my famiglia does :)
 
Tess April 27, 2015
I made these this evening with dinner and I guess I didn't get the consistency sufficiently batter-like, so the patties didn't hold together very well. It tasted delicious nonetheless. These would be excellent with a poached egg for breakfast.
 
Author Comment
cucina D. April 28, 2015
Tess, thank you for trying my recipe and yes my very favorite way to eat them is with a soft poached egg anytime of day or night. It does take some practice getting the consistency right, i always test the batter in a small skillet and see how it works, adding flour or liquid depending until i get it just right. Only then will I warm up the big skillet to cook them in batches... a great way to test for flavors too :) Please keep trying these as I love sharing my recipes and knowing others are enjoying them too.
 
Christina S. February 20, 2015
Thanks so much for your comment. It came at such a great time, as I sit here with my dominant right hand sutured up from a hand surgery I had on Monday. My husband is a chef at a very busy N. Syracuse, NY restaurant named Basil Leaf. So, needless to say, we are very conscious about our eats. Love the magazine, recipes and new friends like you. Keep doin' whatcha doin!
 
Christina S. January 24, 2015
what a small world, sitting here getting rid of mail in between chores. Anyhow, I used to "hang" in Schdy when my former boyfriend, now husband, used to live there, what a cute apartment. Spent many a Saturdays at OTB, when Saratoga used to open. Love my Northeast!
 
Author Comment
cucina D. February 20, 2015
Christina, love that you know Schenectady! My husband and I grew up there and left after high school (he to NYC me to Florida) we got reconnected years later (about 20+ to be exact) and he moved to SWFL to join me and our girls... we go back often, got married at Saratoga National in the fall (October) lots of famiglia and friends still in the tri-county area... let me know how you like this recipe, new ones coming soon!
 
Cathy K. December 29, 2014
We are always looking to boost the health benefits, and get our kids to eat more vegetables. We made the recipe, but added flax seed meal. Instead of normal flour substituted garbanzo bean flour! And we did two batches, one with broccoli instead of cauliflower. Thank you for the recipe!
 
Author Comment
cucina D. February 20, 2015
thanks for trying my cauliflower recipe, Cathy! Love that you used vegetable and bean flours to add more healthy things to this dish! I will have to try your broccoli version now too!... maybe we should do one that is a take on broccoli and cheese only in pattie form?
 
Christina S. December 6, 2014
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?
 
Author Comment
cucina D. December 8, 2014
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.
 
Author Comment
cucina D. December 8, 2014
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 :)