These golden, cheesy pancakes are officially the best way to use cauliflower rice. Plus, they'll be on your table in just 20 minutes.
Now the base of pizza crusts and tater tots, cauliflower has proven its versatility time and time again. When grated or processed into “rice,” it becomes a blank slate for any number of creations. My personal favorite is a cheesy, slightly spicy, pan-fried pancake. If I didn't know better, I'd have no idea the main ingredient was cauliflower—meaning they're packed with Vitamin C and phytonutrients but taste just as good as fried potato latkes.
Coated in Parmesan for a crunchy, golden coating, these pancakes are great as a side dish alongside a protein for dinner or served with a dipping sauce for a party appetizer. Here’s how to make them:
1. Trim and quarter a small head of cauliflower and cut out the inner core. Grate the quartered cauliflower on the large holes of a box grater (or do this in a food processor). You should have about 3 tightly-packed cups of cauliflower “rice.” Wrap in clean tea towels or paper towels and squeeze dry (this will keep the pancakes from being soggy). Transfer to a large bowl.
2. Add 2 large beaten eggs, 4 oz. freshly-grated mozzarella cheese (about ½ cup), ½ cup Panko breadcrumbs, 1 grated shallot, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, and several grinds black pepper. Stir to combine.
3. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and coat with nonstick cooking spray. Using your hands or a small 2-tablespoon cookie scoop, form about 24 1½-inch patties and place on the prepared sheet (if scooping, flatten slightly into a patty). Top with grated Parmesan or Pecorino, pressing to adhere. (Parm is best grated on the smallest holes of the box grater). Heat 2 tablespoons canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high.
4. When the oil is hot, use a flat, wide spatula to transfer the patties to the pan, flipping each one as you place them in so they're cheese-side down. Immediately top each pancake with more Parmesan. Cook until golden and crispy, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and season with salt.
5. Fry the pancakes in batches, adding more oil as necessary. Serve warm.
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