Author Notes: Fried cauliflower has been part of my Thanksgiving experience since I started paying attention to the meal. Before I started noticing food, Thanksgiving meant a big antipasto plate with a weird veggie that tricked you into thinking it was celery but tasted like disgusting licorice, and gross olives. The only saving grace was the mashed rutabagas.
Slowly I became more aware of the food. It began with the wonderful smell that I had never experienced before, that of Parmesan-battered cauliflower hitting hot oil. Heavenly. What I remember most about the fried cauliflower was my Aunt Lorraine frying it up and putting it on a big platter and everyone eating it BEFORE it got to the table. I thought it was an appetizer. WRONG.
But in our house it is an appetizer, a delicious appetizer, so good-tasting that even the pickiest of young eaters scarf them down.
So this is a nod to Aunt Lorraine and her wonderfully delicious fried cauliflower. —Judy at My Well Seasoned Life
Food52 Review: WHO: Judy at My Well Seasoned Life is a travel-loving blogger and television producer.
WHAT: Cauliflower florets, cheese-battered and fried.
HOW: Make a simple batter from flour, Parmesan, and water, then fry in hot oil until golden and crispy-edged.
WHY WE LOVE IT: We loved this recipe—loved how the Parmesan flavor really came through after an overnight rest, how well the batter clung to the vegetable florets (no slippage here), and how satisfyingly salty-savory-cheesy the finished product was. The batter would be good with a little heat added, too, or on any number of vegetables. Plus, it's a very easy, very lovable appetizer (or snack, or main course—you decide). —The Editors
Makes: a lot
cup cold water
cup grated Parmesan cheese
head of cauliflower
- Pour flour and salt into a bowl then slowly add water. Mix until smooth.
- Add grated Parmesan cheese. Stir until incorporated. (Many times I make the batter the day before because the flavor of the Parm intensifies. It will get thicker if you do this, so add bit more water.)
- Cut cauliflower into pieces that can be devoured in two bites.
- Heat a heavy cast iron pan or electric frying pan with 1/4 inch of grapeseed oil over medium-heat heat. (Set an electric frying pan to 375° F). For cast iron, it's ready if a drop of water sizzles in the pan.
- Coat cauliflower pieces with batter.
- Place in hot oil. Brown on all sides. Place on paper towels when done.