Cauliflower-chickpea fritters with fresh turmeric


Wondering what to do with the shitton of cauliflower your CSA


box has so graciously bestowed upon you? It’s one of those things people always have kicking around their produce drawer at the end of spring, and although we would all rather be digging into our sexy new favas and morels, I’m actually a pretty big fan of this humble crucifer.

Cauliflower is probably the mildest of the brassicas. Hell, it’s so bland it couldn’t even be bothered to have a color. But where one person finds blah, I find blank canvas. In fact, cauliflower is quite easily zhoozhed into something fairly exciting with the culinary My Fair Lady trifecta: roasting, aggressive spicing and frying.

I roast almost all the cauliflower I get. It sweetens it up and brings an earthiness unsuspected in such a bemoaned vegetable. I added crushed garlic, salt and olive oil and roast until browned and al dente, around 30 minutes at 375 or so. Then I tossed it with a few teaspoons of fresh-grated turmeric rhizome (available in Asian groceries for pretty cheap right now) and ginger, a pinch of cumin, pepper and some paprika.

To make a batter for these pakora-like fritters, I dumped in some flour, a little crushed tomatoes for moisture, a sprinkle of baking powder and soda, an egg and a little water (seriously, I just shot from the hip here, you can prolly find a real batter recipe somewhere). I added  a handful of leftover cooked chickpeas to round it out (corn would also be fantastic), and fried large spoonfuls in grapeseed oil until golden brown on both sides, flipping in between.

I made a creamy yogurt-cilantro chutney for dipping (not pictured) by running an immersion blender through some whole milk plain yogurt, a handful of fresh cilantro, a squeeze of lime and some salt and pepper. So easy.

Serve alone as a beer snack or with rice and dahl for a more balanced meal. Like beer doesn’t balance a meal.