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Recipe courtesy of Scott Conant

Cauliflower and Fresh Chile Zeppole

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 2 hr (includes proofing time)
  • Active: 1 hr
  • Yield: 24 to 30 zeppole
You may be aware of a sweet zeppole, something of a tradition particularly in Italy. This is a savory version, starting with the yeasted dough, but studded with roasted cauliflower and crispy garlic.




Garlic Chips:


Special equipment:
a deep-fry thermometer
  1. For the zeppole: Combine the yeast and warm water in a large bowl, let sit for 5 minutes. Combine the flour and salt on low speed in the large bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment. Drizzle in the yeast mixture and mix until it just comes together, about 1 minute. Transfer the dough to a large bowl, cover and let proof until the dough has doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  2. Pour enough canola oil into a large, deep saute pan to measure about 1 inch deep and heat to 370 degrees F over medium-high. Stir the roasted cauliflower, parsley, jalapeno, capers, garlic chips and garlic oil into the proofed zeppole dough. 
  3. Working in batches of 8 to 10 zeppole at a time, use a spoon to scoop 1-tablespoon balls of dough into the oil and fry, turning occasionally, until golden and crisp, 4 to 5 minutes. Use a slotted spoon or spider to remove to a paper towel-lined plate or baking sheet and season with salt. Repeat with the remaining dough making sure to bring the oil back to temperature in between batches.   
  4. To garnish: Finely shred the Parmesan onto serving plates and top with the zeppole. Garnish with the chopped chives and parsley. 

Garlic Chips:

  1. Combine the garlic and oil in a small saucepan or skillet. Place over medium heat and cook until the oil begins to simmer and pop lightly and the garlic turns golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes. (Be careful as the garlic will brown quickly and could burn.) Use a slotted spoon or skimmer to immediately remove the garlic chips from the oil to a paper towel-lined plate and let cool. Reserve the garlic oil. Store extra oil refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Cook’s Note

To roast the cauliflower, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F, preferably on convection bake. (If you don't have a convection oven, preheat the oven to 410 to 425 degrees F.) Toss the cauliflower florets with 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Roast on a parchment-lined baking sheet until very tender and dark golden brown, 35 to 45 minutes. Cool before adding to the dough.