Fried cauliflower has been part of my Thanksgiving experience since I started paying attention to the meal. Before I started noticing food, Thanksgiving meant a big ante pasta plate with a weird veggie that tricked you into thinking it was celery but tasted like disgusting licorice, and gross olives. The only saving grace was the mashed rutabagas.
Slowly I became more aware of the food. It started slowly with the wonderful smell that I had never experienced before, that of Parmesan battered cauliflower hitting hotoil. Heavenly. What I remember most about the fried cauliflower was my Aunt Lorraine frying it up and putting it on a big platter and everyone eating it BEFORE it got to the table. Hence up until last year when I told Aunt Lorraine this story I thought it was an appetizer. WRONG.
But in our house it is an appetizer, a delicious appetizer, so good tasting that even the pickiest of young eaters scarf them down.
So this is a nod to Aunt Lorraine and her wonderfully delicious fried cauliflower. I have to confess that I don’t put the dried basil in the batter, I simply put in more cheese.
Aunt Lorraine’s Fried Cauliflower
- 1 cup cold water
- 3/4 cup flour
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Pour flour and salt into a bowl slowly add water
- Once you have a smooth mixture add the cheese.
- Break up the cauliflower into pieces that can be devoured in two bites.
- Heat a heavy cast iron pan or electric fry pan with half an inch of canola oil so that a drop of water sizzles.
- Coat cauliflower pieces with Parmesan batter.
- Place in hot oil.
- Brown on all sides. When finished place on paper towel. See if they make it out of the kitchen.