Cauliflower, Parmesan and anchovy fritters

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Crunchy battered bites of cauliflower florets and leaves are given a deep umami-rich savouriness thanks to the anchovies and Parmesan in the mixture. Serve with alioli for dipping.

This recipe is taken from Sicilia by Ben Tish (photography by Kris Kirkham). Published by Bloomsbury Absolute, priced £26. Available now.

First published in 2021

'Cauliflower fritters are a Palermo street food classic from the friggitore – hot and salty from the fryer and finished with a squeeze of lemon juice. Delicious.

My version incorporates some umami into the batter with the addition of Parmesan and chopped anchovies, two flavours that work very well with cauliflower. Perfect served with a glass of dry Marsala for an aperitivo.'






Cook the cauliflower florets and leaves in boiling salted water for 5 minutes or until tender. Drain well, refresh under cold water and then drain again


To make the batter, mix the flours together in a bowl with the Parmesan, anchovies, lemon zest and cayenne pepper. Make a well in the centre and add the egg. Mix with a wooden spoon, gradually adding the fizzy water and drawing the flour into the centre, until you have a smooth, thick batter. Season well. Add the cauliflower florets and leaves and stir to coat


Heat the oil in a deep-fat fryer or deep pan to 180°C (a cube of bread dropped in will brown in about 30 seconds). Drop heaped tablespoons of the battered cauliflower into the hot oil and fry for 2 minutes or until crisp and golden brown. Lift out with a spider or slotted spoon to a plate lined with kitchen paper to drain while you continue frying

  • 2l groundnut oil, for deep-frying

Sprinkle sea salt liberally over the fried cauliflower and serve with home-made alioli

First published in 2021

Chef, restaurateur and cookbook author Ben Tish has a stellar track record for creating dishes that, quite simply, everyone wants to eat. After years of channelling his love of Mediterranean food he's now chef director across Cubitt House's various pubs and restaurants, proving just how versatile his talents are.

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