Cauliflower Fries

3 Oct

Not sure what I was looking for but I landed on a blog by Mariana Cotlear called Epicuriosa which featured a recipe for Cauliflower Fries. Hmmm… something to replace french fries? Some dishes just have to be eaten with fries – for example, German bratwurst or a Wiener Schnitzel. These are traditionally served with some kind of potato accompaniment – mashed potatoes, fries, sauteed potatoes – or for those in a hurry, in a bun. All carbs! So far I’ve been having these dishes with either a big salad or cauliflower mash so a french fries substitute certainly got my interest.

I’ve tried Mariana’s recipe – twice already. The cauliflower fries are really delicious!

The recipe called for a head of cauliflower for two servings. My head of cauliflower usally makes about 4-6 servings of cauliflower rice, so two servings of cauliflower fries seemed like two large portions. Well, I was wrong. What happens is that the cauliflower looses its water content while baking in the oven and shrinks heavily. They may look burnt in the photo below but they are very tasty and lightly crispy and you won’t be able to stop eating them.

Tonight I was having dinner alone and there was a lot of cauliflower in the fridge so I opted for a quick, no-fuss dinner – cauliflower fries accompanied by a few slices of chicken breast. This was also my opportunity to take some photos. I cut up half a head of cauliflower which filled my whole baking tray. I forgot to take a photo before putting it into the oven. Here are the cauliflower fries after they came out of the oven. The tray was packed with cauliflower when I put it into the oven. Just look at how scant it looks now. Click on the photos to enlarge.

And when you put it on a regular sized plate, this is all it amounts to …

On hindsight, this is not a practical recipe for two or more people. I ate the whole tray of cauliflower by myself. That means that you would have to bake each person’s portion individually. Not sure how they will turn out if you use two baking trays and rotate them halfway during baking. The first time I made these, my husband and I were having dinner together and we felt we didn’t have enough fries.

If you are having your meal alone, are two small eaters or are looking for a yummy snack, I do recommend these low carb fries.

Update 9 Oct 2011 – I made the fries again today. This time, I needed my oven to bake the pork fillet as well so I put the tray with the cauliflower on the bottom third of the oven, beneath the tray with the pork. It took about 5 min. longer for the cauliflower to get brown on the bottom ie. 20 min instead of 15 min, before I flipped them over. Also, I noticed that half a head of cauliflower was sufficient as an accompaniment for both myself and my husband and was wondering why. Then I realised that the cauliflower did not shrink much at all. It didn’t have that light crisp when you bite in either but they were nevertheless good. So if you want your cauliflower to stretch for more people, cook them on a lower temperature (200 degrees Celsius) and they won’t shrink that much!

Cauliflower Fries (serves 1)

(recipe taken from Mariana Cotlear’s blog, Epicuriosa. Quantities have been halved and some instructions slightly changed.)

1/2 medium head of cauliflower
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat your oven to 220 degrees celsius.

Clean the cauliflower of any leaves and trim the tough part of the bottom stem so that you get a flat surface.  Stand the cauliflower upright on a cutting board, and with a large, heavy knife, create 1/2 inch slices.  The outer bits will fall off in very small pieces (this is a very good thing, you will see later), the inner pieces will be like cauliflower latticework.

Line a large baking sheet with tinfoil.  Toss the cauliflower with the olive oil, salt and pepper, and spread in one layer on the baking sheet.  You don’t want it to get too crowded or it won’t brown properly.

Bake the cauliflower in the oven for 10 mins. When it starts looking golden on the underside, turn with a spatula and return to the oven for another 10 mins or so. They should be nicely browned on both sides.

Oh yes, another tip – don’t sprinkle the cauliflower with too much salt. After the cauliflower shrinks, it becomes saltier.

Nutritional Information

Half a head of a medium cauliflower contains 7.8 gr net carbs.

Print this recipe – Cauliflower Fries

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One Response to “Cauliflower Fries”

  1. Elisa March 19, 2017 at 22:27 #

    Roasted cauliflower (or caulifries) is also a new treasure for me. Try sprinkling cayenne or a pepper mix for variety. If you first coat them in melted butter and then roast them, you will have one delish meal.

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