Friday, September 30, 2011

Vegetarian Rosh Hashanah Part IV: Sephardic Cauliflower Patties and a Round-Up of the Meal

Today, I made the final element of our Rosh Hashanah festival meal, Sephardic Cauliflower Patties.  This was yet another recipe from Olive Trees and Honey.  Rabbi Marks notes in the introduction to the cauliflower section that cauliflower was plentiful in Moorish Spain, which is why it is so prevalent in Sephardic Jewish cooking.  (As a quick history lesson - Sephardic Jews have roots in Spain & the Mediterranean, while Ashkenazi Jews, like my family, have roots in Eastern Europe).  Also, if Rabbi Marks is to be believed, the Sephardim apparently like to fry things.  Hence, Sephardic Cauliflower Patties.

I followed the instructions for the patties fairly closely.  I boiled the cauliflower for 12 minutes, drained it and mashed it.  I mixed the mashed cauliflower with minced onion, fresh parsley, panko bread crumbs, egg, white pepper and salt.  I had trouble getting the mixture to bind, so I added more bread crumbs and egg.  I then dipped the patties in more egg and dredged them in whole wheat flour before frying them in a thin layer of olive oil.

Some of the patties didn't survive the fry, but we enjoyed eating the crumbs.  The combination of cauliflower and onion with a fried coating made for a very tasty meal.  My husband's verdict was "Better than latkes!" and his uncle said "I had no idea cauliflower could taste good!"  So, this was the winner of the dinner.

Apple Cake in Cross Section
The Bukharan Braised Carrots were also tasty - I really liked the smoky tomato sauce they were prepared in.  The Romanian Vegetable Stew was ok - a tetch watery for my taste.  I prefer my veg roasted or sauteed to give it more depth of flavor.  But, I did like the combination of veggies, so I may tinker.   And the apple cake, which I have now made for my husband's family four times, continues to be a favorite.  And of course, we served apples and honey, along with a round challah!

Well, that wraps up my inaugural vegetarian Rosh Hashanah.  L'Shanah Tovah to all - have a happy and sweet year!

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