Spanish Fried Cauliflower with Romesco Dipping Sauce Recipe


Garlicky Romesco:
1 red bell pepper

2 Tablespoons (for frying bread) + 2 Tablespoon (for processing sauce) extra-virgin olive oil
1 thin slice of coarsely textured bread (can use gluten free bread if necessary)
1/4 cup blanched almonds
1/4 cup blanched hazelnuts (skins removed)
1/2 cup canned Muir Glen oven-roasted tomatoes
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

2 head cauliflower (about 1lb each)
5 large eggs
1-2 cups olive oil for frying
2 teaspoons salt, divided + more for garnish
2 cups flour (can substitute any alternate flour for gluten free eaters)

1/2 lemon, sliced thin
2 Tablespoons capers, drained
1/2 cup parsley leaves, completely dry


Roast Pepper: Roast the pepper over a flame until blackened. Put into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap for 5 minutes to steam. Peel off the charred skin and remove seeds and stem.

Fry Ingredients: Heat 2 Tablespoons of the olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the bread and fry it, turning occasionally, until golden on both sides. Transfer the bread to a food processor, leaving the rest of the oil behind in the pan. In the same sauté pan, over medium-low heat, fry the almonds and hazelnuts, stirring until golden, 2 minutes. Transfer to the food processor with the bread and process until coarsely chopped.

Finish Romesco: Add the peeled pepper, tomatoes, garlic, paprika, and red pepper flakes. Process for about 15 seconds. In a liquid measuring cup, combine the vinegar, lemon juice, the remaining 2 Tablespoons of olive oil, salt and pepper. With the processor running, gradually add the oil/vinegar mixture. Puree until very smooth, about 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with a sprig of parsley.

Cut Cauliflower: Rinse cauliflower under cold water to remove dirt. Cut the cauliflower florets from the center, leaving short stalks. Cut into ½ inch pieces. Discard the heart at center.

Steam Cauliflower: Pour an inch of water into a large high sided sauté pan(s). Bring water to a boil. Add cauliflower and cover, steaming the florets for about 3-5 minutes. They should be firm, not soft or soggy. Remove from pan and drain. Allow to cool. Discard water from pan and save pan for next step.

Dredge Cauliflower: Beat the eggs in a small mixing bowl, add 1 teaspoon salt. Place the flour into another small bowl and add 1 teaspoon salt. Pour a half-inch or so of oil into the large high sided sauté pan and set it over medium-high heat. When the oil is shimmering, dip the florets into the beaten egg and then coat lightly with the flour mixture. Immediately place in hot oil. Brown florets on all sides, about 5 minutes. Remove florets and drain onto a cooling rack set over a sheet pan. Sprinkle with salt.

Fry Garnish: Once finished frying cauliflower, repeat dredging process with the lemon slices (dip into egg and then flour). Drop dredged lemon and capers into the hot oil. Fry for about 30 seconds. Remove with a skimmer onto the cooling rack. Sprinkle with salt. Very carefully drop the parsley leaves into the drop oil (it will spatter). Fry for 5 seconds and remove to cooling rack.

Serve: Place the cauliflower, and fried garnishes onto a platter and serve immediately with the romesco sauce.

Recipe created by Parties That Cook®


Makes about 30 pieces