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broccoli parmesan fritters

June 16, 2012

Broccoli haters, hoping to disguise that green goodness in fritters; this, I tell you, is not the recipe for you!

However. If you, like me, are an avid broccoli lover, searching for more ways to use it to its full (other than lightly steamed as a side to a dish) then grab your mixing bowl, throw a chug of oil in the pan and get the quickest, greenest dinner underway.

As Deb says – there’s a lot of broccoli and very little pancake in this fritter. The chunks of broccoli create a decent bite in the fritter; fritters that are not light and puffy but compact and hearty. The edges are deliciously crisp (if you aren’t afraid of a good dash of oil). The combination of salty Parmesan and spicy red pepper load these with flavor without disguising the deliciousness of broccoli itself.

Serve these as is, straight off the BBQ, or whip up a light salad. J made one of couscous, toasted almonds, sun-dried tomatoes and feta which suited them perfectly. And because we like yoghurt on everything, we mixed up a bit of a lemony-yogurt sauce to dollop on top.

Broccoli Parmesan Fritters
Recipe from Smitten Kitchen
Makes 2 – 3 servings (about 6 fritters)

220g fresh broccoli (1 medium head, 3 cups chopped)
1 large egg
1/2 cup (65 grams) all-purpose flour
1/3 cup (30 grams) finely grated Parmesan cheese
1 small clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt, plus more to taste
A pinch of red pepper flakes or several grinds of black pepper
Olive or vegetable oil for frying

Prepare your broccoli: Separate the florets from the biggest stem(s) and cut the florets into small chunks.

Steam your broccoli until tender but not mushy: Use whatever method you prefer. Like Deb, my favorite method is to bring a 1/2-inch or so of water to a boil in a small saucepan, then add the broccoli, place a lid on it and simmer it for 5 to 6 minutes. Drain the broccoli, then set it aside to cool slightly.

In the bottom of a large bowl, lightly beat your egg. Add the flour, cheese, garlic, salt and pepper. Then, add the somewhat cooled broccoli and, using a potato masher, mash the broccoli just a bit. You’re looking to keep the bits recognizable, but small enough (1/4- to 1/2-inch chunks) that you can press a mound of the batter into a fritter in the pan. Once mashed a bit, stir or fold the ingredients together the rest of the way with a spoon. Adjust seasonings to taste.

Heat a large, heavy skillet over moderate heat. Once hot, add a good slick of oil (I usually use a mix of olive and vegetable oil), about 2 to 3 tablespoons. Once the oil is hot (you can test it by flicking a droplet of water into it; it should hiss and sputter), scoop a two tablespoon-size mound of the batter and drop it into the pan, then flatten it slightly with your spoon or spatula. Repeat with additional batter, leaving a couple inches between each. Once brown underneath, about 2 to 3 minutes, flip each fritter and cook on the other side until equally golden, about another 1 to 2 minutes.

Transfer briefly to paper towels to drain, then to a serving plate if you’ll be eating them shortly or a baking sheet in a 200 degree oven if you’d like to keep them warm for a while until needed. Repeat with remaining batter, adding more oil as needed.

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