Deb Weiss from the innovative organization DOROT cleverly renamed these fritters “Caulilatkes!” We made them for the residents of their Homelessness Prevention Program and everyone cleaned their plate. I serve them with grated daikon to my family for breakfast at this time of the year — it is a rooting, strengthening way to start an early winter’s day.
makes about 15 2 ½-inch latkes
1 medium head of cauliflower
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt, plus extra to taste
4 scallions, chopped
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup all-purpose flour (or corn – masa harina shown here)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
High heat grape seed or safflower oil, for frying
1 daikon radish or kohlrabi, grated
Or … the classic sour cream
Wash the cauliflower well by immersing it in warm water and letting it sit for about 5 minutes.
Trim and grate the cauliflower on the medium holes of a box grater or using the shredding blade of a food processor.
The goal is to create coarse, uneven pieces of cauliflower that will produce irregularly shaped latkes that are rough around the edges. In a large bowl, toss the grated cauliflower with 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt and set aside for 10 minutes. Gently press the cauliflower against a wire mesh strainer with a wooden spoon to extract the water that has been released.
Return the shredded cauliflower to the bowl. Add the chopped scallions, egg and freshly ground black pepper.
In a small bowl, whisk the flour and baking powder together;
then fold the dry mixture into the cauliflower batter.
In a large heavy cast-iron or stainless steel skillet heat 2 tablespoons of grape seed or safflower oil over medium-high heat. Use a wooden or soup spoon to scoop the cauliflower mixture onto the skillet, frying a few at a time (so they don’t overcrowd the pan). Use a metal spatula to help them keep their shape. Cook the latkes over moderately high heat until the edges underneath are golden, about 3 to 4 minutes. If the edges begin to burn, reduce the flame. Flip the latkes and fry them on the other side until browned underneath again, about 2 to 3 minutes more.
Dredge briefly on brown paper bags and then transfer to a baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in the warm oven until ready to serve. Repeat process, keeping the pan well-oiled, with remaining batter.
Serve with grated daikon or kohlrabi (shown here)
or with lemon wedges. You could also serve them with the classic applesauce or sour cream.
These fritters keep well, either in the fridge for up to three days or frozen in a well-sealed package for up to three months. When you’re ready to use them, place them on a cookie sheet and bake in a 325°F oven for about 15 minutes, until they’re hot and crisp.
©Nancy Wolfson-Moche 2015