Come Share Our Table – Cauliflower Croquette topped with Insalata Caprese

Cauliflower is all the craze now. You can turn it into pizza crust or hush puppies, mash it or roast it. Search on Pinterest. You’ll see what I mean!

Its popularity is well deserved. Not only is it healthful and cancer fighting, it is also mellow in flavor and therefore similar to a blank canvas in art or a neutral wall in interior design.

One night I felt up for a challenge and wanted to make something with it that I hadn’t seen anyone else do before. It turned out beautifully. In fact, this is our second time having it in a month. It’s so yummy!

My hubbie says it’s super filling and doesn’t really need anything on the side. I disagree because I love a crusty baguette alongside to sop up the extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinaigrette, basil, and tomato juices at the bottom of the insalata caprese bowl.

The key to this dish is squeezing the living daylights out of the steamed cauliflower in cheesecloth or a clean tea towel. It’s not easy, especially if you’ve already done a bazillion bicep curls the morning of. If you skip this step or don’t give it all you’ve got, your burger won’t stay together and fall apart when you try to flip it. Get it right and you’ll end up with a nice crunchy exterior (thanks to the Parmigiano Reggiano) and a soft mashed potato-like center.

You need a gentle hand and a thin metal spatula to flip this baby over without it breaking apart on you, but your gingerness and patience will pay off. Thicker plastic/silicone spatulas with slots will create too much friction and break it apart. I could’ve added bread crumbs to make it more stable, and you could choose to do so, but I wanted to keep this recipe gluten-free and use as little filler as possible. It is so incredibly yummy, especially with the juices from the insalata caprese oozing into it.

I used Moroccan harissa as an extra flavoring agent tonight, but I’ve also use cajun seasoning. The key is to add some bold flavor that you like to the cauliflower puree and make sure to season to taste with salt and pepper.

This recipe calls for 6-8 cloves of garlic. It’s enough to ward off a vampire but don’t worry, they’re steamed in the basket with the cauliflower which mellows out their flavor.

Enjoy!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Cauliflower Croquette topped with Insalata Caprese

Makes 8 croquettes

INGREDIENTS

 *I try to use organic, eco-ganic or responsibly farmed ingredients as much as possible

  • 1 large head of cauliflower, leaves removed, roughly cut into 8-10 large sections
  • 6 to 8 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tsp harissa
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 egg
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup rice flour
  • 2 cups freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, divided
  • 1 tsp salt
  • freshly grated black pepper to taste
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Steam the cauliflower and garlic cloves until you can run a knife through the cauliflower with no resistance, about 5-8 minutes. Remove the garlic cloves and set aside. Shock the cauliflower in a big bowl full of ice water for 5 minutes. Squeeze the water out of the cauliflower through cheesecloth or a clean tea towel, working in batches if you have to.
  2. Place the cauliflower inside your food processor along with the steamed garlic cloves (skins removed), harissa, parsley, egg, olive oil, rice flour, 1/2 cup parmesan, salt, and pepper to taste. Pulse just long enough for the mixture to start coming together and there are no longer any large chunks of cauliflower (tiny pieces here and there are fine).
  3. Lay some parchment paper out on a cookie sheet. Place the remaining parmesan (1 1/2 cups) in a shallow bowl. Measure out 1/2 cup of the cauliflower mixture and mold it into a cohesive ball between the palms of your hands, then carefully flatten it into a disk about 1/2 inch thick with the pads of your fingers. Gently lay it into the parmesan to coat on both sides. Lay it onto the parchment and repeat with the remaining mixture.
  4. Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat with 2 Tbsp of olive oil. Gently pick up the croquettes by using the parchment paper to flip it onto your hand. Depending on how large your skillet it, lay 3 or 4 croquettes down into the hot fat, leaving enough room to slip the spatula down in between to turn them later without disturbing their neighbor. Cook for 2-3 minutes on the first or until it achieves a nice brown crust. Carefully turn them over with a thin metal spatula. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until the bottoms are nicely browned. Remove them from the skillet and place them directly on your serving plate. Top with Insalata Caprese (recipe below) and garnish with fresh basil leaves.

    OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Insalata Caprese

INGREDIENTS

*I try to use organic, eco-ganic or responsibly farmed ingredients as much as possible

  • 1 1/2 cups fresh mozzarella cheese (not the processed kind)
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh diced tomatoes (juices, seeds and all..I prefer Campari tomatoes for this recipe)
  • 1/2 cup packed basil leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

  1.  Gently mix everything together in a bowl and serve. Have a baguette on hand to sop up the sauce that is created at the bottom of the bowl.
Advertisements

2 replies »

  1. Thank you! Yes, the second recipe for the Insalata Caprese is to top the croquette with. You really don’t even have to follow it to the “t”. It’s just fresh tomato, fresh moz, EVOO, balsamic, basil and s&P to taste. I added a lot of EVOO and balsamic vinegar to my recipe because I love the juices that is leaves at the bottom of the bow. So yummy with lovely bread.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s