Crispy edged, gloriously textured, tasty little mounds of fried veggie goodness.
Once upon a time in a beautiful valley filled with lakes and vineyards there lived some broccoli. This broccoli was very appealing, with deep green florets and tender, juicy stems. But, sadly, the broccoli knew it was, well, just plain. And that's the last thing this broccoli wanted to be.
This broccoli had high hopes and delicious aspirations of being part of something out-of-the-ordinary. So, thinking it was now or never, the broccoli took a big deep breath and leaped out of the box, landing plunk.......plunk...... plunk......... on the kitchen counter.
Scared, excited, and a little bewildered, the broccoli just lay there, waiting for the adventure to have its way with it.
The broccoli felt it before it saw it. (You know that feeling?) Big, hungry, smiling, brown eyes transfixed the broccoli with a steady gaze. The broccoli gulped.
Then the best thing that ever could have happened, happened. A soft voice eagerly exclaimed, "I know what I'm going to make! Oh, these are going to be so good. Broccoli Parmesan Fritters coming right up!"
The broccoli never dreamed it would be part of something this good.
Every once in awhile I like to share the background story on how I came to make a certain something. Sheds a whole different light on the recipe, doesn't it? Very inspiring.
And I knew in an instant as soon as I came across this recipe on Smitten Kitchen that I had no option but to make these fritters. Then with the broccoli landing on my counter, and all that jazz, what was a girl to do?
Forest Grump and I both really like these fritters. I'll definitely make them again. And again. They are more broccoli than fritter, with just enough batter to bring the veg and cheese together into little mounds of crispy edged, chewy middled, tasty bites. The texture is marvelous.
Like Smitten Kitchen we dipped our fritters in a garlicky lemon yogurt sauce, but we kicked ours up a bit with a good wallop of sriracha. Mmmm. We couldn't resist trying a couple of the fritters with an indulgent smear of butter and a sprinkling of salt and pepper. Yum. I mean really, how can you go wrong with butter and a fritter, right?
I would just have to say, if you like broccoli, or even if you're on the broccoli fence, make these. I think you'll really like them too.
**Thanks Deb of Smitten Kitchen fame, your recipes are divinely crafted and always
keep me coming back for more.**
BROCCOLI PARMESAN FRITTERS
with Garlicky Lemon, Sriracha Yogurt Dipping Sauce
Yield: 8-9, 2 to 2 1/2-inch fritters
8 ounces (1 small-to-medium bundle, 225 grams) fresh broccoli (3 cups chopped)
1 large egg
1/2 cup (65 grams) all-purpose flour
1/3 cup (30 grams) finely grated, good quality, 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). Cut the florets into 1-inch chunks. Slice the stems into 1/2-inch lengths. You should have about 3 cups of chopped broccoli total.
Steam your broccoli until just tender but not mushy. Set broccoli 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. (I started with a spoon and then decided the only way to bring the mixture together was to get in there with my hands, which worked perfectly).
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. Serve with Yogurt Dipping Sauce, or smeared with creamy butter.
YOGURT DIPPING SAUCE
1 cup full fat, Greek style, plain yogurt
2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon sriracha
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1 small garlic clove, minced
Couple of pinches of sea or Kosher salt
Stir all ingredients together in a small bowl. Adjust flavours to your tastes. Dollop on each fritter before serving or on the side as a dip.
THE MORAL OF THE STORY
Take a leap of faith and everyone will realize how delicious you really are.