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When the tables at the farmer's market start filling up with the freshest, most vibrant vegetables you've ever seen it's hard not to buy one of everything. I love finding new ways to make use of fresh, local vegetables that take very little preparation to make great dishes.

Fritters make a great snack, appetizer for a summer party, picnic dish, or side dish at dinner.

After seeing the recipe for Broccoli Parmesan Fritters on Smitten Kitchen's blog, I knew they'd taste great. I decided to add my own touch by making Broccoli Cheddar and Cauliflower Parmesan fritters. If you find yourself with some leftover cooked broccoli or cauliflower these fritters come together very quickly, or you can make them from scratch like I did, either way, they're delicious!

These fritters are slightly crispy on the outside, but soft and cheesy on the inside, a little cayenne for a touch of heat and sprinkled with some salt to hit all the right flavor notes. I bet with the vibrant colors of the bright green broccoli and purple cauliflower even picky eaters will want a taste.

Makes about 16, 2 1/2 inch fritters

Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen: http://smittenkitchen.com/2012/06/broccoli-parmesan-fritters/

Step 1: Gather Ingredients

You can make all broccoli or all cauliflower fritters I would double amounts so you have plenty, you can also vary the cheeses to your liking.

You'll need:

For Broccoli Fritters:
1 large egg
2 cups cooked broccoli, finely chopped
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 small garlic clove, minced
1/3 cup finely shredded cheddar (I used Cabot's Seriously Sharp)
Pinch cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper

For Cauliflower Fritters:
1 large egg
2 cups cooked cauliflower (I used purple, use whatever color you can find), finely chopped
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 small garlic clove, minced
1/3 cup finely shredded Parmesan (please use the real stuff)
Pinch cayenne pepper
Salt and Pepper

For frying you'll need either 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil, or, as I used, because many Midwesterners keep bacon grease around at all times, 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil, 1 Tbsp. bacon grease.

Step 2: Cook Vegetables

If you are making these with fresh vegetables you'll need about one small stalk broccoli and 1/2 small head cauliflower

Prepare broccoli:
Cut florets from stem into pieces about 1-inch in size.
I used a knife to cut outer edges of stem off (about 1/8th inch), squaring the stem off to make a stable base, also trim stem bottom, then cut stem into 1/2 inch pieces. (If you've never cooked broccoli stems you are in for a treat, when cooked correctly they are quite tender and have great broccoli flavor.)
Keep florets and stems separate and wash each (if you haven't already). 

Bring about 1/2 inch of water to boil in a small saucepan (I used a larger one because it has the steamer insert I wanted to cook the cauliflower in). Add the broccoli stems, give them a minute headstart then add the florets on top, cover, and simmer until tender, 5 to 6 minutes.  

Drain the broccoli, set aside.

Prepare cauliflower (you could cook the same way as broccoli, or, if you like your steamer insert as much as I do, cook it this way)
Cut florets off core into pieces about 1-inch in size, rinse well

Fill a large saucepan with enough water to reach just below bottom of steamer basket, bring water to boil, put steamer basket in place, add cauliflower, reduce heat to medium, cover, and steam until cauliflower is almost tender, 5 to 7 minutes.

Remove from steamer, set aside.

Step 3: Make Batter

(Note: 1 egg is pictured, after mixing batters I realized I needed 2 to best hold everything together.)

For Broccoli Fritters:
In a small bowl, beat egg lightly.
When cool enough to handle, chop broccoli into roughly 1/4-inch pieces, place in a medium bowl.
Add the flour, cheese, garlic, cayenne, salt and pepper to taste (I used 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, 1/8 tsp. black pepper).
Add egg and mix until combined.

For Cauliflower Fritters:
In a small bowl, beat egg lightly.
When cool enough to handle, chop cauliflower into roughly 1/4-inch pieces, place in a medium bowl.
Add the flour, cheese, garlic, cayenne, salt and pepper to taste (I used 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, 1/8 tsp. black pepper).
Add egg and mix until combined. 

Step 4: Pan Fry

Preheat a large, heavy skillet over medium high heat. (Cast iron on medium heat works perfectly here.)

Once hot, add 2 Tbsp. oil (as stated, I used 1 Tbsp. each vegetable oil and bacon grease).

When oil starts to ripple, scoop (I used a small ice cream scooper) a 2 Tbsp. sized mound of batter into the pan, then flatten it slightly with your scooper or spatula. Repeat with additional batter, leaving a couple inches between each fritter. (In my 10-inch skillet I cooked 4 fritters at a time.)

Once brown underneath, about 2 minutes, flip each fritter and cook on the other side until equally golden, about another 1 to 2 minutes.

Transfer briefly to paper towels to drain, sprinkle with salt, if desired.

Step 5: Enjoy

If you need to keep the fritters warm awhile before serving, place them on a baking sheet in a 200-degree oven.

These fritters can be served a variety of ways, Smitten Kitchen suggests a lemon yogurt dip. I think ranch dressing, or dip, would also be great, especially for kids.

I chose the simplest method, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, because I know a little bit of acid is great at brightening flavors up.

I hope you'll try these fritters soon.
<p>good flax egg or chia and I get perfect vegetable fritter, but oven or nearly dry fry for me!</p>
they look sooo good! I will eat 20 of them now

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Bio: I love to spend time in the kitchen to relax and feed those I love with great eats and treats.
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