Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Fritters & Fattoush

I'm a chicken. A scaredy cat. I've been wanting to do this for so long. Over thinking, mulling, contemplating, chewing on it. Well, I've had enough. I bit it. Last night after dinner I decided to take some pictures of the lefties and just do it. Dinner was pretty darn good! So here she food blog.
This is one of my recent favourites. From the amazing, inspiring, beautiful Ottolenghi The Cookbook, Cauliflower and Cumin Fritters with Lime Yogurt.

To round out dinner, a fairly classic Fattoush Salad. Sooo good.

Cauliflower and cumin fritters with lime yoghurt

From Ottolenghi The Cookbook

Notes: The fritter recipe is amazing as is. I've made these for dinner parties and catering gigs - the spices are unusual for some - but people love them. The measurements are in weights, as Ottolenghi is a British thang. I've indicated the amounts I used in brackets.


1 small cauliflower
120g plain flour (I used 1/2 cup)
3 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 clove of garlic, crushed
2 shallots finely chopped
4 free-range eggs
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
500 ml sunflower oil for frying
(I just made sure there was always a thin layer of oil in the pan while frying)

Lime sauce
300g Greek yogurt (I used 1 cup)
2 tbsp finely chopped coriander (cilantro)
grated zest of one lime
2 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper

Put all the sauce ingredients in a bowl and whisk well. Taste - looking for a vibrant, tart, citrusy flavour - and adjust the seasoning. Chill or leave out for up to an hour.

To prepare the cauliflower, trim off any leaves and use a small knife to divide the cauliflower into little florets. Add them to a large pan of boiling salted water and simmer for 15 minutes or until very soft. Drain into a colander.

While the cauliflower is cooking, put the flour, chopped parsley, garlic, shallots, eggs, spices, salt and pepper in a bowl and whisk together well to make a batter. When the mixture is smooth and homogeneous, add the warm cauliflower. Mix to break down the cauliflower into the batter.

Pour the sunflower oil into a wide pan to a depth of 1.5cm (about 3/4 inch - but I used less) and heat up. When it is very hot, carefully spoon in generous portions of the cauliflower mixture, 3 tablespoons per fritter. Take care with the hot oil! Space the fritters apart, make sure they are not overcrowded. Fry in small batches, controlling the oil temperature so the fritters cook but don't burn. They should take 3-4 minutes on each side.

Remove from the pan and drain well on a few layers of kitchen paper. Serve with the sauce on the side.

Serves 4

Fattoush Salad

Notes: I don't think its authentic to add garlic to the dressing - but I like it that way. Also, Fattoush usually has radishes in the mix - but I didn't have any on hand.


1 head of romaine lettuce, chopped
1/2 cucumber, chopped
1 red or orange pepper, chopped
1 large ripe tomato, chopped
1 bunch green onions, finely sliced
1/2 cup red or white cabbage, finely sliced
1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

2 small pita breads, toasted or fried - I brush mine with olive oil, then sprinkle them with salt and cumin and toast them in the oven at 350 degrees for around 10 minutes

juice of one lemon
1 clove of garlic, minced (optional)
1tsp salt
1/2 tsp sumac (if you can find it)
1/2 tsp dried mint
1/4 cup olive oil

To make the dressing, combine lemon juice, garlic and spices in a bowl. Whisk in olive oil.

Toss all the vegetables in a dish. Break toasted pita bread into chunks with your hands and add to vegetables. Toss with the dressing just before serving.

Serves 4