Cauliflower pancakes (frittelle di cavolfiore) were my father’s favourite, and I wholeheartedly agree with him. They're simple, quick and delicious. It's obviously a peasant dish, but one that could be served at a party today.
A typical street food from Southern Italy, we call them frittelle or zeppole. You can find all sorts: with seaweed, pumpkin flowers, whitebait… you name it, we make it! And we love them.
Children love them, because of their mild taste. Adults love them, because they're delicious. And this way, everyone eats more veggies!
Ingredients for four portions:
1 medium cauliflower
100g of grated parmesan
100g of cubed or grated smoked cheese
150ml of milk
2-3 tbsps of plain flour
salt and pepper to taste
Vegetable oil for frying
1. To prepare your cauliflower pancakes, start by removing the leaves from the cauliflower, then cut it in small florets and wash it thoroughly under running water.
2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to the boil. Cook the cauliflower until soft. Drain it.
3. With a fork, mash the florets roughly. If you preferring a softer pancake, you can puree it in a food processor.
4, Tip it into a large bowl. Stir in the eggs, grated cheese, cubed cheese, and milk. Season to taste.
5. Sift in the flour little by little, stirring well as you add it. You want a soft batter, but not too runny.
6. Heat some vegetable oil in the pan. Be sure that it’s really hot. Spoon the batter into the pan, creating several small pancakes. Fry for a couple of minutes on each side until they are a bright golden colour. Set them on a tray lined with kitchen paper to absorb excess oil.
Tip: Cauliflower pancakes are delicious both hot or cold. Serve them with a green salad, seasoned with extra-virgin olive oil and lemon.
Silvana Lanzetta. Photo: Private
Silvana Lanzetta was born into a family of pasta makers from Naples and spent 17 years as a part-time apprentice in her grandmother’s pasta factory. She specializes in making pasta entirely by hand and runs regular classes and workshops in London.