Originally these cauliflower feta balls were going to be mini feta doughnuts with a herb salt of some kind. It was my fridge groaning under the weight of a surplus supply of seasonal cauliflower that gave me the idea of cauliflower feta balls.
No longer using yeast and as minimal flour as possible, they no longer fell into the category of a doughnut. I toyed with the idea of calling them puffs, as they are a very light a fluffy creation, but they resembled a ball more than a puff.
Balls just seemed to suit. They fry up quite round when you spoon balls of mixture into the hot oil. Not perfect by any means, with little tendrils of mixture creating extra crunchy protrusions as they fry. If you are like me, you will appreciate those little crunchy extra bits.
These balls are bite sized, using just a teaspoon of mixture a ball. Perfect for handing around as canapés. They are also very hard to stop at just one, you will find yourself popping these balls like popcorn.
As there is more cauliflower in these babies than anything else, they have to be good for you. Just ignore the fact that they are fried. Oh, and don’t attempt to bake them, it just won’t work……. trust me.
All they need to serve is a few wedges of lemon and a good sprinkle of salt. Of course I had to get all fancy pants with my salt, and made oregano salt to accompany them with some fresh oregano I had on hand. This is completely unnecessary, but a lovely addition if you do. Plus it’s not hard to make.
- 500g cauliflower
- 200g smooth feta
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons chives, chopped
- 160g (1cup) plain flour
- Vegetable or canola oil for deep frying
- 2 tablespoons sea salt flakes
- 2 teaspoons fresh oregano, finely chopped
- lemon wedges to serve
- Cook cauliflower via your preferred method until tender. Leave to cool slightly and then puree with a stick blender in a large bowl. Once smooth blend in the feta cheese and egg.
- Stir through chives. Sift flour over the top and then mix through thoroughly.
- In a deep fryer or pot heat oil to 150°C (300°F).
- Scoop ball shaped teaspoons of mixture into the oil and fry for around 10 minutes until brown and cooked through.
- Suggestion: Test a couple of balls first to make sure you are happy with the oil temperature, size you are making the balls and that they are cooking through.
- Once balls are cooked remove from oil and place on kitchen towel to absorb any excess oil.
- Once all the cauliflower and feta balls have been cooked serve immediately with oregano salt and lemon wedges.
- To make oregano salt, in a small bowl crush salt flakes with oregano.
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An important note when making these cauliflower feta balls, you may be tempted to make bigger balls, don’t. You risk them not cooking properly and ending up with doughy innards. Don’t try and speed up the frying time, again you will end up with doughy innards. These need to be fried on a lower temperature for a longer time due to the amount of moisture in them from the cauliflower and feta.
I had a few balls left over and they kept well for the next day. They reheated in the oven excellently. Instead of serving them with the oregano salt and lemon, I served them with dukkha, which turned out to be a delicious combination.
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