On the menu

Recipe: Cauliflower, parmesan and anchovy fritters

Perfect served with a glass of dry Marsala for an aperitivo

Cauliflower fritters are a Palermo street-food classic from the friggitorie – hot and salty from the fryer and finished with a squeeze of lemon juice, says Ben Tish. Delicious.

Serves 4

Ingredients: 

  • ½ a large leafy cauliflower, cut into florets and leaves thinly sliced
  • 1.5-2 litres groundnut oil, for frying

for the batter: 

  • 50g plain flour
  • 50g cornflour
  • 30g parmesan, finely grated
  • 2 salted anchovies, finely chopped
  • zest of ½ an unwaxed lemon
  • ½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • 1 large free-range egg
  • 75ml cold sparkling water
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method:

  • Cook the florets and leaves in boiling salted water for 5 mins or so. Drain well, refresh under cold water, drain again.
  • To make the batter, mix the flours with the cheese, anchovies, lemon zest and cayenne. Make a well and add the egg. Mix with a wooden spoon, gradually adding the fizzy water and drawing the flour into the centre, until you have a smooth, thick batter. Season well. Add the cauliflower florets and leaves and stir to coat.
  • Heat the oil in a deep-fat fryer or deep pan to 180°C (a cube of bread dropped in will brown in about 30 secs). Drop heaped tablespoons of the cauliflower into the hot oil and fry for 2 mins, or until crisp and golden brown. Lift out with a spider or slotted spoon onto a plate lined with kitchen paper to drain while you continue frying.
  • Sprinkle sea salt liberally over the fried cauliflower and serve with homemade aioli.
Ben Tish book cover

Taken from Sicilia by Ben Tish, published by Bloomsbury at £26. To buy from The Week Bookshop for £20.99, call 020-3176 3835 or visit theweekbookshop.co.uk.

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