We roast cauliflower often, by far one of my most favorite methods of cooking vegetables. I can't think of anything that doesn't taste better roasted. But I was looking for something different.
Spicy. Crunchy. Crispy.
Even though there are hundreds of recipes out there for Parmesan Cauliflower, I couldn't find the right one for me. The recipes I found were boring or had weird combinations of spices, and most of them are for cooking in the oven, and it has been too hot to bake. So, like I often do, I made up my own recipe. They were amazing, so I have to share!
I did something I don't normally do, I fried. Yes, I'm talking about submerging my perfectly beautiful and healthy vegetables into a bath of sizzling hot, oil. But not before they are lightly coated with delectable spices and panko crumbs.
I don't know if it makes it any healthier, but I used extra light olive oil. I heard that it has a higher smoke point.
The most important thing here is that these are delicious, and pretty easy to make!
Crispy Cauliflower with Parmesan Print this recipe
1/2 cup extra light olive oil for frying
1 head cauliflower
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup rice flour
Sea salt and pepper
1-2 tsp. sweet paprika
1 tsp garlic salt
1 tbs Italian Seasoning
3-4 tbs. shredded fresh Parmesan cheese
Wash the cauliflower, then break up into little bite sized pieces.
Blanch the cauliflower pieces by adding them to a pot of well-salted, boiling water for about 30-45 seconds just until crisp/tender; drain, then shock for about 30 seconds in ice-water to cool; drain from ice water and pat dry with paper towel; set aside for a moment.
Add the panko bread crumbs and rice flour to a large ziplock bag, along with a pinch of salt. Beat the egg in a large bowl; add the panko, the parmesan, the paprika, Italian seasoning, garlic salt, pepper and a pinch of salt into another large ziplock bag.
To bread, add the blanched cauliflower pieces to the bag with the rice flour and panko, and very gently shake to coat the pieces well. Then, add the floured pieces to the bowl with the beaten eggs, and toss the pieces to coat with the egg. Add the pieces to the bag with the panko/parmesan mixture, and again, gently shake to coat the pieces well; take the coated pieces out and place on lined tray.
To fry, heat enough oil to shallow skillet (about ½ cup) in a large skillet. When the oil is hot, add about a third or half (depending on size of pan) of the breaded cauliflower pieces in, and allow them to fry for about 5-7 minutes, moving them around occasionally, until crispy and golden-brown on all sides; remove and drain on paper towel, sprinkle with a little salt, pepper and paprika if desired, and repeat until all pieces are fried.
To serve, allow the pieces to cool slightly, as they will be quite hot when fresh out of the oil. Serve alongside your choice of sauce, perhaps buttermilk ranch or a marinara sauce!