Yields: about 30 fritters (serving size: 2 fritters with sauce)
Photo: Theresa Raffetto; Styling: Gerri Williams for James Reps
4 cloves garlic
1 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Salt and pepper
3 cups small cauliflower florets (about 10 oz.)
Canola oil, for frying
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1 large egg
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Lemon wedges, for serving
How to Make It
Pulse garlic in food processor until finely chopped. Add mayonnaise, zest and juice and process until smooth. Transfer to a bowl, cover and refrigerate until ready to use. (Makes about 1 cup.)
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Have a large bowl of ice water ready. Add cauliflower to pot; cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to ice water. Drain.
Preheat oven to 200°F; place a baking sheet in oven. Fill a pot with 2 inches of oil; warm over medium-high heat until it reaches 350°F on a deep-fry thermometer, 10 to 12 minutes. As the oil is heating, in a bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder, Parmesan, 3/4 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper. In a small bowl, whisk egg, buttermilk and parsley. Stir into flour mixture. Fold in cauliflower.
Using a spoon, drop coated cauliflower into oil and fry in batches, flipping halfway through, until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes per batch. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate, then to sheet in oven. Return oil to 350°F; repeat with remaining cauliflower. Serve with sauce and lemon wedges.