cauliflower fritter topped with an over-easy egg and green zhug

Spiced Breakfast Cauliflower Fritters with Green Zhug (Low Carb & Gluten Free)

Spiced Breakfast Cauliflower Fritters with Green Zhug is a low carb, Middle Eastern twist on Eggs Benedict. Cauliflower fritters are packed with aromatic spices, topped with an over easy egg, and dressed in a spicy herbal sauce.

Inspiration

Breakfast is one of my favorite meals; and it’s a pity that I work during the week, so the weekend is the only time I really get to cherish this beloved meal. We have at least one inventive or elaborate breakfast each weekend. Since going gluten-free, I haven’t been able to enjoy one of my old favorites: Eggs Benedict. Now, I find creative ways to substitute out the English muffin component. This recipe is a riff on the classic with a Middle Eastern twist.

The cauliflower fritter was inspired by acclaimed chef, Yotam Ottolenghi. Haven’t heard of him? No worries. He’s an Israeli-English chef who is quite the rage in London, so unless you’re an anglophile or a serious foodie, he may be off your radar. The man knows his way around a vegetable. He has a Cauliflower Cumin Fritter that is just aces, and is the inspiration for my low carb and gluten-free adaptation. This cauliflower fritter is the base for an over-easy egg. To finish, you cannot skip the green zhug.

Green Zhug? What the heck is that? Only my favorite new sauce. It’s like an Israeli chimichurri, but packs a nice wallop. I first had it at Roti Meditteranean Grill and was hooked. It’s a bright, fresh herbal sauce with peppers and spices. Amazing on vegetables, eggs, and we even eat it over grilled flank steak. There’s not much that a little Green Zhug wouldn’t make better.

How to Make Spiced Breakfast Cauliflower Fritters

Boil your cauliflower first. Unless you want crunchy, uncooked cauliflower hunks, you will need to boil small florets in salted water for about 10-15 minutes.

Use a hot, neutral oil for frying. I like to use avocado oil, but coconut oil will work as well. The price tag on avocado oil can be a turn off for some. Make sure the oil is hot and work in batches to fry the fritters. I normally can fit about three in my cast iron skillet. I advise smashing down the fritter with the back a spoon a bit to ensure that it is not too thick and it will cook through. About 2-3 minutes is normally enough for a nice golden brown. Don’t burn them. Drain on a paper towel lined plate before topping with your over-easy egg.

cauliflower fritters with an over easy egg
Spiced Cauliflower Fritters are crunchy and the perfect vessel for a runny egg yolk.

How to Make Green Zhug

Final texture is your choice. Some people like their zhug chunky, some like it smooth. It’s all about you. This recipe is so easy. Throw everything into the food processor. Pulse until it reaches the desired consistency. I tend to only pulse the mixture a few times as I really prefer a rustic sauce.

Don’t forget to scrape the seeds out of your peppers. Unless you like living on the wild side, of course. I use three serrano peppers in this recipe. You could go for jalapeno instead, but I find that the three serrano is just right for me.

green zhug in a dish
Green Zhug is the perfect condiment for a number of foods. Don’t let the peppers scare you. It’s spicy, but herbal and aromatic.

Other Low Carb Breakfast Recipes you’ll love

Spiced Breakfast Cauliflower Fritters with Green Zhug
Yield: 4 people

Spiced Breakfast Cauliflower Fritters with Green Zhug

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Crunchy cauliflower fritters with an over-easy egg and spicy, herbal Israeli Green Zhug. A low carb and gluten-free Middle Eastern twist on Eggs Benedict.

Ingredients

Green Zhug

  • 3 serrano peppers, seeded
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamon
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided

Cauliflower Fritters

  • 2 cups cauliflower, chopped into small florets
  • 1 tbsp shallot, finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed/minced
  • 1/4 tsp tumeric
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ras el hanout
  • 1 tbsp flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • pinch black pepper
  • 2 tbsp coconut flour
  • 1 tsp tapioca flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • avocado or coconut oil, for frying

Over Easy Egg

  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tbsp oil or butter

Instructions

Green Zhug

  1. Place all ingredients except 1 tbsp of olive oil into a food processor. Pulse until combined and desired consistency is reached. Scoop out into a small bowl. Add remaining olive oil. Set aside

Cauliflower Fritters & Eggs

  1. Add cauliflower florets to a medium sauce pan of salted boiling water. Cook until soft; about 10-15 minutes.
  2. While cauliflower cooks, prepare the batter. In a medium mixing bowl, combine shallot garlic, spices, salt & pepper, parsley, flours, and eggs. Whisk to combine until a batter forms.
  3. Once cauliflower is soft, drain. Add warm cauliflower into the batter mixture, smashing the cauliflower with the back of a spoon to break it up into the batter.
  4. Heat about 1/2 inch of oil over high heat in a large heavy skillet or cast iron skillet. Work in batches to fry. Spoon about 3 tablespoons for each fritter, patting down the batter to level out the fritter. Do not burn, but cook about 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown. Remove and drain well on a paper towel covered plate. Set off to the side and quickly fry your over-easy eggs in the same pan. Add additional oil or butter if necessary.
  5. To assemble: place a fritter down on a plate, top with the egg, and spoon over the green zhug. Serve immediately.

Notes

You will likely have left-over zhug. It can be refrigerated for 4-5 days. 

Did you make this recipe? Let me know how it turned out! Leave a comment below and make sure to join the @noshinandnumnums community on instagram or facebook and tag me in your cooking pictures! 

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