One of the most popular health heroes of vegetables has to be broccoli. Surprisingly so, since in a past life it joined cabbage and other members of the brassica family (including cauliflower and Brussels sprouts) as a much-loathed, overcooked mush – its nutrients boiled away, slopped onto school dinner plates and promptly pushed aside. Thanks to TV chefs paving the way we now enjoy them more al dente, displaying their bright green antioxidant chlorophyll proudly. Whether the little florets are steamed, stir-fried,oven-roasted, munched raw or even juiced to extract their goodness – it’s all good.
I roughly grate the broccoli (a great way for utilising the broccoli stalk) then create a batter of ground almonds (almond flour) and eggs for a gluten-free fritter. Plenty of herbs and some grated lemon zest add flavour and you can even sneak in some carrot pulp from your juicer or seeds for added texture. Leftover cooked broccoli can be turned into fritters too – just roughly chop before combining with the other ingredients. If the mixture is a bit wet add more ground almonds. Cook up extra fritters for future suppers and freeze, then pop them in the oven until piping hot and crispy on top.
The best thing with fritters and fried food is some kind of tangy sauce or dip to cut through it – a cult classic being tomato sauce. For extra nutritional clout I enjoy my fritters with an easy avocado dip, inspired by guacamole but silky smooth and spiced up with the superfood cayenne or blended with a few jalapenos for a softer, sweeter punch – just go easy for the kids! You can make this in advance – just store with a layer of lemon juice and olive oil over the top to prevent browning.
INGREDIENTS:(use organic/natural ingredients where possible)Serves 4 people(with leftovers)
- 2 large broccolis, stalks and head – approximately 450g
- 1 tablespoon of chopped chives/ 2 large spring onions, finely sliced/ 1 small onion, finely diced
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 teaspoon of lemon zest
- 1 large egg
- 10-12 tablespoons of almond flour (ground almonds) – we like Infinity brand
- 1 tablespoon of sunflower seeds (or pine nuts)
- 80g grated parmesan
- 1 large handful of freshly chopped coriander/parsley/dill/basil (we used coriander)
- Sea salt
- Black pepper
- 2 teaspoons of ghee
- Optional spices: a teaspoon of ground cumin/chilli/smoked paprika
- 2 large ripe avocados
- 4 tablespoons of fresh lime or lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons of water
- 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- 4 tablespoons of natural, full-fat, probiotic yoghurt – we like Duchy
- 2 spring onions/chives/small onion finely diced
- 2 large garlic cloves, crushed
- Sea salt
- Black pepper
- A dash of cayenne pepper/minced red chilli or jalapeno peppers to taste (for children/non chilli lovers just split the sauce into two portions and add chilli to one portion)
- To garnish: Fresh herbs such as coriander
- Grate the whole broccoli on the coarse tooth of your grater or using a Kitchen Aid.
- Beat the egg in a large bowl, add the grated broccoli and all the other ingredients for the fritters.
- Combine with a wooden spoon or your hands. If the mix is too wet add more almond flour, if too dry crack an egg, whisk it and add a little to the mix (add a little more if needed).
- Shape the mix into a small patty (this is a tester fritter) and fry in a little ghee for a few minutes on each side – try this one for flavour, then adjust the seasoning if you need to to for the rest of the mix.
- Once you’re happy with your mix make into lots of patties and start frying them, giving them space from each other so they can fry rather than steam – depending on the size, they should cook for 4-5 minutes on each side on a medium heat. If you want to free up the pan, cook them for a few minutes on each side then pop them into the oven at 180C to cook a bit longer. We tend to have two pans going at the same time! Even if you’re frying your fritters, keep the oven on low, around 130C to keep your finished fritters warm while you’re making them all up.
- To make the avocado dipping sauce, blend all the ingredients together and serve in a bowl garnished with some fresh herbs.
- Serve with a big salad of baby spinach, watercress, rocket, chopped radishes, cucumbers and red peppers and some toasted walnuts.