The big joke with A’s friends is that she is a vegetarian who doesn’t like vegetables. And while this may be generally true, it’s probably more accurate to acknowledge that the bigger issue is that most veggies just aren’t prepared in the tastiest way. To combat this, we have been trying to work veggie side-dishes into as many meals as possible, and try out ways to make them a little more exciting for meat-eaters and vegetarian vegetable non-enthusiasts alike.
The fritters below were stolen almost entirely from Smitten Kitchen. She posted them at a perfect time — right before our summer party. We made a few batches of them and decided on the version below. If you too are hesitant to eat a green vegetable, these go down easy.
(Makes 3 dozen ish)
6 cups chopped broccoli (roughly 4 individual stalks) — chopped into 1/4″ – 1/2″ chunks
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 1/2 c flour
1 cup parmesan
3 cloves of garlic
Start by separating the florets from the stem. Then chop the florets into small pieces, no bigger than a half inch. You can use most of the stem, but peel it a bit and then chop those pieces smaller.
Steam the broccoli. We used SK’s method: put about 1/2 inch of water in a sauce pan, bring it to a boil, toss in the broccoli and simmer on low for about 7 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool. The broccoli should be soft, but not mushy. The genius of her recipe is that you FEEL like you are eating broccoli and not a fritter because the broccoli pieces are so recognizable.
In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and then add the flour, cheese, garlic, salt and pepper. Then add the broccoli. At this point SK uses a potato masher to combine the ingredients and make the broccoli pieces a bit smaller. We don’t have a potato masher and our chopped broccoli size above (1/4″ in – 1/2″) reflects that. On our second and third attempts at this we didn’t miss having a masher because we just got the pieces smaller and mixed everything together.
Head 3 tbsp of oil in a pan over medium heat. Get the oil good and hot. If water hisses and jumps and sputters off of the oil then it is ready. Scoop a tbsp of batter in at a time and let it sizzle! Z’s discovery was the less you touch these in the cooking process the better they end up staying together and looking. They cook in roughly 4 minutes. Cook on the first side for 2-3 and then flip and cook it for another minute or so.
We made a mixture of sour cream, dijon, lemon, salt and pepper to serve it with, but didn’t write down any quantities and are still looking for other options. We forgot to buy the ingredients SK uses for her garlicky lemon yogurt, but maybe we will try that next!
If you check out her recipe you will note that she uses a bigger broc:flour ratio. We really liked them in Smitten Kitchen’s original form. Perhaps it is our love of all things that seem less healthy coupled with our belief that everyone else shares this sentiment that made us up the flour content for our party. We should have used our party guests as taste-testers, but we can tell you that the fritters were consumed rather rapidly along with a hefty glass of the Queen’s Sangria.