Fried cauliflower? Mmmm. Go on, make it, you know it's going to taste fabulous!
2 medium free-range eggs Salt & freshly ground black pepper 1 small-medium cauliflower 1 cup panko crumbs 1½ cups freshly grated parmesan cheese 2 bayleaves 1 cup olive oil Several sprigs fresh marjoram, or a small handful of baby basil leaves ½ cup oil-marinated olives, drained
1 Break eggs into a bowl, add a pinch or two of salt and beat with a fork.
Cut cauliflower into small florets, or bite-size pieces. Add to bowl and toss gently with a large spoon until thoroughly coated with egg. Tip cauliflower into a large sieve and drain off excess egg.
2 Briefly whiz panko crumbs in a spice grinder (or crush with a rolling pin in between two sheets of paper) to make finer. Mix crumbs with 1 cup of grated parmesan. The easiest way to coat the cauliflower with crumbs is to put the crumb mixture in a clean plastic bag, add the drained cauliflower, and toss vigorously until the cauliflower is evenly coated. Alternatively, put crumb coating on paper, add a little of the cauliflower at a time, and stir around until coated. Transfer to a plate.
3 Heat olive oil in a large frying pan (skillet) over a high heat. When the oil is really nice and hot and on the point of hazing (a little shimmer of heat coming off the oil), start adding cauliflower florets and fill the pan until you have a good layer. Fry until golden on all sides, turning with tongs. Transfer to a serving plate or platter as they are done, and sprinkle with salt and grind over a little pepper.
4 When all the cauliflower is fried, add olives and fresh herbs, toss gently, then scatter with remaining parmesan. Serve immediately.
The cauliflower in this dish is not blanched before frying but it becomes nicely tender. Add as much cauliflower as will fit in the pan in one layer, quite tightly packed, (the cauliflower will shrink a little during cooking). If you don’t have a large frying pan (skillet), cook it in two medium pans. Leftovers, should there be any, are delicious – try them with a chilli-fried egg on top – even though they become softer than when served fresh from the pan.
See a full menu here: Autumn Feast Roasted Onions, Fried Cauliflower with Olives & Herbs, Potato & Eggplant Moussaka and Apple & Blackberry Pie