• Fried cauliflower with chickpea aïoli (Alan Benson)Source: Alan Benson

Cauliflower is completely different when it’s fried or roasted as it is cooked in parts of the Mediterranean. It’s a wonderful way to snack on a winter vegetable.






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  • 1 large cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 bunch sage, leaves picked
  • lemon wedges, to serve
  • vegetable oil, to deep-fry

Chickpea aïoli

  • 125 g canned chickpeas, rinsed, drained
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tsp lemon juice or white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 4 roasted garlic cloves or 2 fresh garlic cloves
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) extra virgin olive oil
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) olive oil

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


To make chickpea aïoli, process chickpeas, egg yolk, lemon juice, mustard and garlic in a food processor to a purée. Combine the oils and, with the motor running, gradually add the oils drop by drop at first, then in a thin, steady stream until thick and emulsified. Season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until needed or for up to 1 week in an airtight container. Makes about 1 cup.

Line 2 oven trays with paper towel. Fill a deep-fryer one-third full with oil and heat to 180°C (or until a cube of bread turns golden in 10 seconds). Working in batches, cook cauliflower, turning for 3 minutes or until golden brown. Drain on lined trays. Cook sage leaves in the hot oil for 10 seconds or until crisp, then drain on lined trays.

Serve fried cauliflower and sage with chickpea aïoli and lemon wedges.



Photography by Alan Benson.

As seen in Feast magazine, Sept 2011, Issue 1. For more recipes and articles, pick up a copy of this month's Feast magazine or check out our great subscriptions offers here.