VegetablesAlison Lambert


VegetablesAlison Lambert
This is one of those recipes where you wonder how it all comes together and is it worth the effort?  It is a great recipe one which reminds me of croquettas i had in Spain, it just has cauliflower instead of jamon which by all means add if desired. 
These are great for parties as part of a Tapas evening or just great to have with a glass of wine.


These moreish, light and crispy fritters are a fantastic way to utilise the humble cauliflower. I have simply sprinkled over some homemade cumin salt and they are ready to enjoy.

500 g cauliflower
50g butter
70g flour
300 ml milk
60g Gruyere or any good melting cheese with a slight nutty flavour, grated
1 egg
1 egg, separated
Salt and pepper
Panko crumbs
Vegetable oil for frying

Toasted cumin salt
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp sea salt flakes


Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Prepare the cauliflower by removing the stalk and cutting it into florets. Carefully plunge all the cauliflower into the boiling water and cook until tender (5-8 minutes), drain and cool.

Cut the cauliflower florets smaller and set aside.

To make the béchamel (white sauce) melt the butter in a medium size pot. Add the flour and cook out for 2-4 minutes, stirring all the time until it becomes sandy in texture and gives off a slightly nutty aroma. Gradually add the milk, stirring continuously. If by any chance you get some lumps then simply set too with a whisk until no lumps are visible. Add the cheese and egg yolk along with the whole egg stir to combine. Add the cauliflower and season with salt and pepper. Cool.

Meanwhile make the cumin salt by gently heating the cumin seeds in a dry pan until they give off a lovely, smoky aroma. Put them into a mortar and pestle along with the salt, grind until you get a fine, brown looking salt. Put it into a small dish.

Whisk up the egg white to stiff peaks.

Shape the cauliflower mixture by using two dessertspoons so you form an egg shape (quenelle). Coat in the egg white and then toss through the panko crumbs. Continue until finished.

Heat enough oil (1/2 full) in a deep side, heavy-based pot until 180C. If unsure cook a cube of bread, if in 30 seconds it is brown then it is ready. If not then heat the oil for a further couple of minutes.

Cook the croquettes in batches until golden brown and crispy. Drain well and sprinkle with the cumin salt. Serve immediately.

They will work well with leeks, broccoli or romanesco for a seasonal change!