Broccoli parmesan fritters

Ok all, I finally have a savoury recipe to share with you.  I know it’s been a while.  When I’m in a time crunch I typically go to my old favourites such as simple quinoa and roasted vegetables or brown rice stirfrys, so I haven’t actually tried making anything totally new and savoury in my kitchen for a while.  These are an exception as I made them for my brunch party the other week.  I can’t entirely put them in the “nice” category as you basically fry them in a pan, but they are chock-full of broccoli and I think if I made them again I would actually try baking them to make them healthier.  But as is, the pan frying really does make them absolutely delightful.  The dough is barely held together by some flower and egg and cheese and is mostly just steamed broccoli all mashed up.  Their texture is amazing and I love the idea of using broccoli this way!

Broccoli fritters (yup, from Smitten Kitchen again)


8 ounces (1 small-to-medium bundle, 225 grams) fresh broccoli (3 cups chopped)
1 large egg
1/2 cup (65 grams) all-purpose flour
1/3 cup (30 grams) finely grated parmesan cheese
1 small clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt or sea salt flakes, plus more to taste
A pinch of red pepper flakes or several grinds of black pepper
Olive or vegetable oil for frying

First, prepare the broccoli.  I don’t like using stems, so I just cut all the florets off, stick them in a pot with just enough water to cover them, and bring to a boil.  Once it boils, let it simmer for a few minutes – you want it to be tender but not mushy.  Drain the broccoli and then set it aside to cool slightly.

Meanwhile, in the bottom of a large bowl, lightly beat your egg.  Add the flour, cheese, garlic, salt and pepper to make a sort of unappetising paste (but you will love what it turns into).   Then, add the somewhat cooled broccoli and, using a potato masher, mash the broccoli just a bit. You’re looking to keep the bits recognisable, but small enough that you can press a mound of the batter into a fritter in the pan. Once mashed a bit, stir or fold the ingredients together the rest of the way with a spoon. Adjust seasonings to taste.

Heat a large pan over moderate heat. Once hot, add a good slick of oil.  Let it heat for a couple minutes, and then scoop out a large ball of the batter, drop into the pan, and flatten it slightly with a spatula.  Repeat with all the additional batter, leaving a little space between each.  It should take about 2-3 minutes from them to brown underneath – then flip them and cook on the other side until equally golden.

Transfer briefly to paper towels to drain, then to a serving plate if you’ll be eating them shortly or a baking sheet in an oven set to a low temperature if you’d like to keep them warm for a while until needed.  I made ten and was able to fit them all at once in my pan, but you may need to do them in multiple batches.

IMG_5739Steamed broccoli draining

IMG_5740Mixing the non broccoli ingredients together…

IMG_5741And then adding all that nice broccoli to the bowl

IMG_5744After it’s all mixed together, form into about ten patties, and put in a pan slicked with oil.  As you can see they get nice and browned!

These were utterly delicious.  I loved their texture – slightly crispy on the outside (well, that would be from the oil) and nice and chewy on the inside, and the broccoli and parmesan complimented each other perfectly.  These would be a great dinner for friends served with a nice green salad and perhaps some Greek yoghurt to spoon over the top of them.  Or, they are a pretty irresistible snack all on their own…

One year ago: Brown rice vegetable stirfry (I literally just made this a week ago – tried and true favourite of mine!)

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