When Mom Makes You Eat Your Broccoli, Ask for Broccoli Fritters

Many people start life wondering why in the world parents "push" small, tree-like vegetables known as broccoli on dinner plates of their beloved children. Later, some learn there's actual flavor to the small trees, and it's actually good ... and very good for the eater. 

In Texas, broccoli is on a short list of winter-harvested vegetables — and it has a nutritional pedigree that is quite impressive. Each head contains a high amount of vitamin C and fiber and is packed with antioxidants.  So like it or not, parents are right to encourage this particular kind of tree consumption.  

As a general rule, the purity of food is an important point of focus.  Ingredients should taste like what they are.  Overcooking broccoli to mush will make it unpleasant and not what it is meant to taste like. 

Those who respect ingredients and pair them with their naturally complementing flavors organically create something beautiful and delicious.  Garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil — these three ingredients speak to broccoli. They effortlessly pair together to create a simple but seemingly complicated dish. 

In the recipe below, these ingredients are combined to make broccoli fritters in a cast iron skillet, a must-have utensil for any southern kitchen.

Broccoli Fritters

Broccoli Fritters

Makes 8-10 fritters 


3 cups chopped fresh broccoli (1-2 small bundles of broccoli)

1 large egg

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/3 cup finely grated parmesan cheese

2 small cloves of garlic, minced

1/2 tsp Kosher salt

1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

2 tbsp of olive oil for frying 

Dipping Sauce:

1 cup of plain Greek yogurt

Juice from 1/2 lemon

1 tsp of minced garlic 
Kosher salt, to taste


Chop your broccoli florets into 1-inch chunks, peel your stems, and slice into ½-inch lengths.

Steam broccoli pieces until tender but not mushy. 

Lightly beat your egg in a large bowl. Add flour, cheese, garlic, salt, and crushed red pepper. Add in slightly cooled broccoli and mash using a potato masher. Mash until just blended. Broccoli bits should still be recognizable. Gently mix all ingredients in bowl with a spoon.

Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a large heavy bottom pan over medium high heat. A cast iron pan would work great for this.  Spoon 2 tbsp of mixture per fritter into pan and gently press down to slightly flatten the fritter. Cook 2-4 minutes per side, until fritters are golden brown. Do this in batches; use remaining oil as you go along.

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