Now that we are doing fewer vegetarian meals per month I've been wanting to choose recipes for things that I have either never had or never made before. While I like eating vegetarian because it generally makes me feel better, I also like trying to make new things to keep it exciting for me. I found this recipe for cauliflower cakes and I was intrigued for multiple reasons: 1) They reminded me of latkes or potato pancakes, which I love. 2) They had garam masala in it and now that I have a huge amount of this from when we made the Paneer Tikka Masala I was excited at the prospect of using it again.
As always the recipe was super simple. Combine the following ingredients in a big bowl, mix them together, then drop 2 tablespoons or so of the "batter" into a 1/4 cup of oil in a skillet.
- 2 cups grated cauliflower (1 medium size head of cauliflower)
- 1/2 large yellow onion (approximately 1 cup chopped)
- 3 tbsp flour
- 3 eggs
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1/2 cup panko crumbs (optional, for texture)
- 1/2 tbsp garam masala
- 1/2 tbsp salt
The recipe called for 10 minutes prep and 10 minutes cooking time. Either I'm extremely slow or the girls who wrote this recipe are crazy! The prep didn't take that long but grating the cauliflower took a while. I contemplated roughly chopping it and putting it into the Cuisinart instead but decided not to. I wish I had. I think the result would have been the same but in half the time without bits of cauliflower flying all over my tiny kitchen. The recipe also did not say how much this would make. Being delusional, I thought this would make a couple of cakes. I used 2 tablespoons per cake instead of the tablespoon listed in the recipe and I ended up with 18 cauliflower cakes! I ate 3 and Phillip had 4 to give you an idea of serving size, so needless to say, it took me a while to fry up all of these cakes when they take a couple of minutes per side for each cake.
I decided to serve the cakes on top of a simple salad. I wanted to make a homemade lemon vinaigrette to toss the salad with and also wanted to make an aioli to drizzle on top of the cakes. I realized after making this decision that I did not have dijon mustard, an ingredient that typically both of these would have in them. For the vinaigrette I just left out the mustard and whisked together 1/4 cup olive oil, 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, 1/2 tablespoon minced shallot, 1/4 teaspoon grated lemon peel, 1/4 teaspoon sugar, and S&P. I tossed the salad with the vinaigrette before plating it and sprinkled with a little coarse salt before placing the cakes on top of the salad.
For the aioli my original thoughts were to make my own from scratch. However after spending longer than I thought frying cauliflower cakes I decided to cheat. I took about two tablespoons of store bought mayo, added fresh lemon juice, a little squirt of regular mustard, a pinch of garlic powder and some S&P. My fake version of an aioli came out much better than I anticipated and was surprisingly good. I drizzled the sauce over my cauliflower cakes, cracked some fresh black pepper on top and called it a day. I really liked this dish. I could really taste the garam masala in the cakes and I thought the addition of the vinaigrette and the aioli complemented the cakes well.