I have a love/hate relationship with cauliflower. It’s not my favourite vegetable to eat on its own. When I bite into them my palette’s reaction is nothing short of ‘meh’. Growing up, cauliflower was only allowed to be made one way, boiled then sautéed with potatoes. It’s good, don’t get me wrong, but I end up grabbing most of the potatoes over the cauliflower.
One great thing about it though is its versatility to become many things. My favourite thing to do with cauliflower is to shred it and create something brand new out of it .
I thought I would get creative and make it like an arancini (a classic italian styled rice ball with cheese inside). I decided to use cheddar for two reasons a) I only had cheddar and parmesan in my fridge and b) I wanted to add some extra flavour in the mix
One thing you have to watch out for with cauliflower, as you must with many veggies, is that it is made up of a lot of water, therefore after you have pulsed it to shreds it’s a good idea to wring out any excess H20. To do this, I usually take a cotton dishcloth, lay the pulsed cauliflower in the middle. I then cover it up and wring out the water, you’ll be surprised how much comes out!
Working with veggies I find they crumble a lot easier than a meat or a carb when fried/baked, therefore I place the raw made veggie balls into the refrigerator for at least 30-60 minutes to ensure they are nice and firm. With that being said, this then becomes a great dish you can make the morning of, the night before or even freeze them for a later date.
Not going to lie, they came out pretty tasty that it got a “you can make it again” review. Let me tell you I have a tough crowd to please, my husband who likes anything fried and salty, my mother who is a natural born chef and my father a 69 year old Italian who loves his pasta. Next crowd, my nieces and nephew! Wish me luck!
Cheesy Cauliflower Bites
- 1 cauliflower headed (rinsed and cut up into small florets)
- 2 carrots
- 1/2 cup of brocoli
- 1 garlic (minced)
- 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs (plus extra for exterior)
- 2 eggs (plus extra for later)
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1/2 teaspoon of fresh black ground pepper
- 1/4 cup of parmigiano reggiano (grated)
- 1/2 cup of cubed cheddar cheese
- In a food processor, pulse the cauliflower with the carrots and broccoli combined until it becomes fine, almost crumb like. (You may need to do it in 2 batches or else you end up with a lot of chunks leftover)
- Take a dishcloth, place the cauliflower mixture in the centre and cover it up. Wring the dishcloth until all the excess water comes out.
- Place mixture in a bowl.
- Combine salt, pepper, breadcrumbs, eggs, parmigiano and garlic into the cauliflower mixture.
- Take a small handful of the mixture and flatten it in your palm.
- Place a cheddar cube in the centre and cover it up creating a ball.
- Have 3 seperate bowls on the counter. 1 with flour, another with eggs and the third with breadcrumbs.
- Roll the caulifower ball in the flour, then the egg wash and lastly in the breadcrumbs.
- Place the cauliflower balls into a dish and store in the refrigerator for 30-60 minutes. These can also be made the night before or freeze them for a later date.
- Preheat oven at 375 degrees.
- Take a large size frying pan and place about inch worth of canola oil.
- Make sure the pan is on medium high, you want it to sizzle when you place the balls in the pan, but you don’t want them to burn.
- Fry the balls a few seconds on each side, until they have a nice light golden colour.
- In a baking pan, line it with parchment paper and place the fried cauliflower bites inside.
- Place the pan in the oven and bake for about 10 minutes.