Lately I have been quite obsessed with the quality of fats. It’s probably a mixture of the fact that I am writing my Bachelor assignment where one of the main focus areas are how fat and especially the different types of fat influence our body and cardiovascular system. It is really an eye opener and oh so interesting. I am proud to say that I am no longer ‘scared’ of getting to much fat as long as it is healthy fat that has been under careful observation.
The reason why I am starting the whole fat speech again is that while I have been exploring the new world of fats (sounds crazy yeah, but I am a child of the low fat generation) it has come to my attention that the majority of all fat based products including the organic versions as e.g. olives, tomatoes and artichoke marinating in oil and mayonnaise are made with sunflower oil or unidentified vegetable oils. This is actually not as good as it might sound. Vegetables oils as sunflower oil, grapeseed oil and corn oil are mainly made of polyunsaturated fatty acids omega-6, and lately a new research study has revealed that an increased intake of omega-6 linoleic acid can pose a risk to cardiac health. And here we are going around thinking everything with the word vegetable was oh-so healthy, bummer!
Semi-dried tomatoes in oil has become my new thing, I just love them and I think they are the perfect accessory for almost any dish. I have had them for breakfast, on the side of an omelet, in tasty meatballs, on top of my favourite open rye bread & egg sandwich and a lot with these cauliflower fritters. Sometimes I have been lucky enough to get my hands on the tomatoes from the deli – they are so good – but most often I have been buying those in a jar from the supermarket. So far I have found one tiny tiny organic jar that costs a fortune where they have used olive oil – but the rest of them are conventional with sunflower oil – not ideal if you wanna get the best fats possible. So I decided to make my own semi dried tomatoes swimming around in my favourite organic olive oil and paired with the beautiful italian flavours from basil and garlic… and I can only say store bought tomatoes Go Home!
The cauliflower fritters are a classic in my kitchen and I am actually surprised I haven’t shared it with you yet- Lately it is my dad who has been obsessed with them – and sends me pictures of his creations, so sweet!
The batter is made with psyllium to bind the liquid from the eggs and cauliflower, but you could add 2-3 tbsp of flour instead. It is still a bit loose in the texture and you need to make them relatively small and fry them on medium heat for a couple of minutes until they have firmed a bit on the frying side and you’ll be able to flip them over.
It is a perfect little dish for lunch or you can use the fritters as a side dish or accessory for a bigger meal. You can vary the cheese content to your preference, just as you can spice them up with herbs, serrano, chilli etc.
Semi dried tomatoes in olive oil
Makes one medium jar
500 g small tomatoes
4 cloves of garlic
Fresh basil leaves
Dried herbs eg. basil, oregano or thyme
Salt & pepper
High quality organic extra virgin olive oil
Preheat oven to 125 °C/250 °F (no fan). Cut all tomatoes in half and place them skin side down on a lined baking stone. Roast the tomatoes in the oven for approximately 2 hours, depending on size of the tomatoes and your oven. Let the steam out of the oven every 30 min. When done the tomatoes should have lost half their size and be intense in their flavour. Remove from oven at let them cool.
Use the blade of a knife to crush the garlic and remove the skin. Place tomatoes layered with basil leaves and garlic in the jar and cover completely with olive oil.
Store in the fridge for up to two weeks and use the excess oil as dressing or in cooking.
Cheesy cauliflower fritters
Makes 12-14 fritters
1 cauliflower head (500 g)
100 g cottage cheese
200 g grated cheese, preferable parmesan
2 Tbsp psyllium husk
A pinch of nutmeg
Butter to fry
Boil Cauliflower until tender. In a bowl mash the cauliflower to a chunky mash. Add eggs, 75 g parmesan, cottage cheese, psyllium pepper, nutmeg and stir until you have a combined batter. Season to taste.
Heat a skillet to medium heat. Melt a generous knob of butter and add dollops of the batter. Fry for 3-4 min, sprinkle parmesan on the uncooked side and flip them over. Fry for another 3-4 min, sprinkle a layer of parmesan on the cooked side, flip over and fry until the parmesan is crisp and golden.
Keep extra in the fridge for up to 3-4 days – make a great snack in your lunchbox.