Everyone knows how important vegetables are for good health, but you don’t need to munch through the same old recipes to get your five a day. Fried vegetables are a delicious alternative to conventional methods of cooking and are popular with vegetarians and meat-eaters alike.
There is an incredible range of fried vegetable dishes to choose from. Below is a selection of our favorites.
Fried Brussel Sprouts With Smoky Honey Aioli
Starting with a vegetable that can be controversial: the dreaded Brussel sprout. But if you turn your nose up at these green powerhouses at Christmas, you might be persuaded to think again with this delicious recipe. The frying and addition of an incredible smoky honey aioli create an entirely different taste that could change the mind of even the most ardent sprout-hater!
If the sprouts are large, cut them into halves or quarters; they should be perfectly bite-sized chunks for this recipe. Coat them in flour, heat some oil in a pan, and throw the sprouts in. Fry for 2-3 minutes, or when the sprouts turn crispy and golden.
Create your smoky honey aioli by combining mayonnaise, minced garlic, lemon juice, honey, olive oil, paprika, salt, and pepper. Serve by either drizzling your Brussel sprouts with the aioli or leaving them as a dipping sauce on the side.
Bang Bang Cauliflower
Vegan, ridiculously spicy, and packed full of flavor, Bang Bang Cauliflower is one of the recipes everyone should have in their repertoire. There are many ways to serve cauliflower, from cauli rice to cauliflower “buffalo” wings, but this recipe is top of the pile.
Start by coating the cauliflower with flour and stir-frying for 5-8 minutes until it’s just turning brown. Add red onions, spring onions, and another squirt of oil, and keep stir-frying until the spring onions begin to caramelize.
Pour in firecracker sauce and stir through, thoroughly coating all the ingredients. Simmer briefly until the sauce is warm, then serve in bowls and garnish with coriander and ginger.
Broccoli Parmesan Fritters
Like cauliflower, broccoli is an incredibly versatile vegetable that can be served in myriad ways. These fritters add another delicious option to the long list!
Start by chopping your broccoli into small chunks and peeling the stem to remove the thick skin. Lightly steam until the florets are just tender but aren’t turning mushy.
Add flour, parmesan, salt, pepper, garlic, and steamed broccoli chunks in a bowl. Mash it together roughly but without completely obliterating the chunks of broccoli. Add a large spoonful of this mixture to hot oil in a frying pan, and cook each side for a couple of minutes. Voila! Delicious fritters which are full of flavor.
Courgette and Corn Fritters
If you’re not a broccoli fan, these Courgette and Corn Fritters are a yummy alternative. Made in a very similar way, they’re just as quick and easy to make.
Combine shredded courgette with salt and squeeze to remove any excess water. Soften onion and garlic in hot oil before adding sweetcorn. Remove from the heat after three minutes. Mix polenta, salt, baking soda, flour, and pepper in a separate bowl. Once combined, add buttermilk and eggs, plus the courgette and warm sweetcorn mixture.
Cook in the hot oil for 3-4 minutes until the batter is crispy and golden.
Fried Green Olives Stuffed With Cheese
Technically this is an entry that shouldn’t be on the list because olives are a fruit, not a vegetable. However, as olives are usually eaten as a savory accompaniment, we’ve bent the rules on this occasion!
Olives are very often served stuffed, but the addition of frying and breadcrumbs make this recipe extra special. Start by stuffing pitted olive with rolls of blue cheese; this can be done days before the cooking if you have a lot to prepare.
When you’re ready, heat some peanut oil in a pan, then dip the olives in flour, beaten egg, and breadcrumbs. Fry until the olives turn golden brown and crispy, usually about 30 seconds.
Battered Peppers and Bananas
Although bananas are also included, this is a savory dish that is spicy and satisfying and strongly dominated by the flavor of the peppers.
Unlike many other battered vegetable dishes, this recipe relies on chickpea flour, a staple of this and other Gujarati dishes. If you can’t find it for any reason, you can switch to plain flour instead.
The bananas and peppers should be prepared and cut into slices and chunks, ready for frying. Mix the flour (whichever one you’re using), hot paprika, baking powder, cayenne pepper, turmeric, salt, and water to make a smooth batter. Roll the peppers and bananas in chickpea flour and then dip them into the batter, ensuring they are thoroughly coated.
Fry in a pan in hot oil for roughly one minute or until crisp on the outside. Sprinkle with black pepper, and enjoy!