Cauliflower bites

Now my fridge is full of colourful and varied vegetables, presoaked/precooked legumes, eggs, tofu, and one of my most important items, double concentrated tomato paste. I find it to be a magical ingredient that packs your dishes with flavour and colour, without breaking the bank.

I am new to a vegetarian diet, and it’s changing my cooking routine tremendously. My fridge looks a lot different from the days when I was a meat eater (35 years) and fitness trainer (over a decade)! My first week was a mess. Picture yourself doing a massive spring cleaning for your whole house. My whole freezer was full of pre-made meals that were meat based, frozen meat, dumplings, and all sorts of stuff I no longer eat.

Now my fridge is full of colourful and varied vegetables, presoaked/precooked legumes, eggs, tofu, and one of my most important items, double concentrated tomato paste. I find it to be a magical ingredient that packs your dishes with flavour and colour, without breaking the bank.

Cauliflower is one of the most versatile, popular ingredients in vegan and vegetarian cooking, though it’s usually not top of the list for me. Now I see that if you know how to prepare it, it can be tasty and not boring at all. These bites are definitely a great way to make cauliflower delicious. They’re super simple to prepare and make a great party or pre-dinner snack. I pre-fry a big batch and freeze them for later. Serve them with ranch, chili mayo (Always my favorite dip! Just choose your favorite hot sauce and start with a proportion of 3:1 mayo:chili, adjusting to your own heat tolerance.) or just sweet chili sauce.

Makes about 2 dozen

Ingredients

  • 1/2 large head of cauliflower
  • 2 large garlic cloves, finely grated
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp-1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (depending on your heat tolerance)
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika Vegetable oil for frying

Recipe Preparation

Wash and trim cauliflower, remove thick stems, and break into 1” florets. Steam florets until soft and tender. Drain and transfer cooked florets into medium mixing bowl. Mash finely with fork until they look like mashed potatoes, then mix in grated garlic, cayenne pepper, paprika, and salt. Then mix in flour until well combined.

Heat about 1 cm of oil in shallow frying pan on medium-high heat. To test the temperature, drop a small amount of the cauliflower mixture into the oil. It should start bubbling in seconds and float to the top.

Take a teaspoonful of mixture and use another teaspoon to help shape it into an oval. Carefully slide the shaped cauliflower bites into the oil and cook until they are golden brown on both sides, about 2 minutes each side, working in batches. Remove cooked bites with a slotted spoon onto kitchen paper and serve warm with your favorite dips.

Leave a Reply