Spring is in the air, and we are craving lemony vegetable dishes. No one knows how to make vegetables delicious like Sephardi Jews. You may want to double the following fried cauliflower with lemon—no one can resist gobbling up the cauliflower florets even coming out hot from the pot of oil! You’ll be lucky if they make it to the table.
Fried Cauliflower with Lemon Sephardi
Yield: serves 4-6
- 1 head cauliflower (2 lb.), cored and cut into 1-in. florets
- Vegetable oil for frying
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 T. finely grated lemon zest
- 1 t. cayenne pepper
- 1 t. fine salt, plus more for serving
- 1 t. turmeric
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 5 large eggs
- Chopped parsley, to garnish
- Lemon wedges, for serving
- Add the cauliflower to a pot of boiling water, lower heat, and simmer until just tender when pierced with the tip of a knife, about 5 minutes. Drain the cauliflower and place in a large bowl of ice water. Leave until cool, about 2 minutes. Drain cauliflower once more, and place florets on a paper towel-lined baking sheet. Pat cauliflower dry with paper towels.
- In a medium bowl, beat the eggs until well mixed, and set aside. Fill a Dutch oven with oil to a depth of 2 inches and heat on medium high. While oil is heating, whisk together in a pie pan, or other shallow dish, the flour, lemon zest, cayenne pepper, salt, turmeric, and black pepper to taste
- Line a baking sheet with a triple layer of paper toweling. When oil is heated to 350°F, dredge a few cauliflower florets in the flour mixture, shaking off any excess. Place in bowl with the egg to coat, then return to the flour mixture to dredge once more. Fry, turning occasionally, until cauliflower is crisp and golden, about 45 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cauliflower florets to the baking sheet and season with more salt and black pepper while hot. Working in batches, repeat with the remaining cauliflower.
- To serve, place the cauliflower florets on a platter, sprinkle with chopped parsley, and serve with lemon wedges.