When I was little, broccoli and canned spinach were my two favorite vegetables. Weird? Maybe. But at least I ate veggies. Not many kids can say that these days. Vegetables have become the enemy of the dinner table for a lot of kids. When I was a nanny, I had to beg, plead, bribe, and threaten the kids just to get them to eat their veggies at lunch. If only I had this fritter recipe back then.
You see, these fritters are veggie bombs -6 cups of chopped broccoli!- and yet, they taste so naughty. So, so naughty... A very light pancake-like batter holds the chopped bits of broccoli together while they gently fry to a golden crisp in hot canola oil. A little squirt of lemon juice and a dollop of cool, tangy sour cream round out the flavor and texture of the fritter, making it hard to resist even for the most veggie-phobic. Now obviously it's not a totally healthy dish, but when you're getting that much veggie bang for your buck per serving, a few indulgences can be forgiven.
(Adapted from Smitten Kitchen; Makes about 12 fritters)
What You Need:
-6 cups chopped broccoli (I use fresh florets and a few of the stems; if you want to use frozen broccoli, be sure it's completely thawed and dry off all the excess moisture)
-1 cup all-purpose flour
-2/3 cup Reggiano cheese (it's a really high-quality, yummy Parmesan)
-2 cloves garlic, chopped
-1 tsp. Kosher salt
-Red pepper flakes
-Canola oil (for frying)
What You Do:
1. Cook your broccoli and set aside to cool. I just boil mine for about 5-6 minutes or until tender (but not mushy!).
2. While the broccoli is cooling, lightly beat the eggs in a large mixing bowl. Add the flour, cheese, garlic, salt, and red pepper flakes then continue mixing. It'll start coming together like a thick pancake mix.
3. Add in the cooled broccoli then, using a potato masher, smash it up a bit to mix the broccoli in with the batter.
4. Heat the canola oil in a skillet over medium heat. When the oil is nice and hot, scoop up a spoon-sized ball of batter and add it to the oil. Press into a patty shape (not too thin, though). You can add multiple mounds to the frying pan, just be sure to leave an inch or so between them.
5. Once the fritters are a light golden brown (about 3 minutes), flip over and cook for another 2-3 minutes. These little guys get dark very quickly so don't wander off to check your email like I did, unless you want them really well done.
6. Transfer the fritters to a paper towel to drain off any excess oil then serve with a squirt of lemon juice and a scoop of sour cream. If you're not going to be eating them right away, you can keep them warm in an oven set to 200 degrees.