Today's edition of BBC Radio Four's The Food Programme featured Israeli and Palestinian Jerusalemites Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi, the duo behind the Ottolenghi food chain in London, extolling the praises of cauliflower, that much belittled vegetable (in Britain at least). Yotam is the founder of, and a chef at, the eponymous restaurant business, in which Sami is partner and executive chef. The first of the Ottolenghi restaurant/takeaway outlts opened in Notting Hill in 2002, and branches have since sprung up in Islington, Kesington and Belgravia.
This recipe sounds irresistible:
Cauliflower and cumin fritters with lime yoghurt
120g plain flour
3 tbsp chopped flat –leaf parsley
1 garlic clove crushed
2 shallots chopped
1.5 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1.5 tsp ground turmeric
1.5 tsp salt
1. tsp black pepper
550 Ml oil
330g Greek yoghurt
2 tbsp chopped coriander
Grated zest 1 lime
2 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper
1. Put all the sauce ingredients in a bowl and whisk well. Taste – looking for a vibrant, tart, citrusy flavour – and adjust seasoning. Chill or leave out for up to half an hour.
2. Prepare the cauliflower, dividing it into florets. Add to a large pan of boiling salted water and simmer for 15 minutes or until very soft. Drain into a colander.
3. Put the flour, chopped parsley, garlic, shallots, eggs, spices, salt and pepper in a bowl and whisk into a batter. When the mixture is smooth, add the warm cauliflower. Mix to break down cauliflower into the batter.
4. Pour sunflower oil into a pan – 1.5cm depth – and heat. When hot, spoon in generous portions of the cauliflower mixture, 3 tablespoons per fritter. Fry in small batches, controlling oil temperature so the fritters cook but don’t burn. They should take 3-4 minutes on each side.
5. Remove from pan and drain on a kitchen paper. Serve with sauce on the side.