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By David Frenkiel and Luise Vindahl

Our freezer has three drawers. The top one is reserved for frozen berries, fruit and ice cream. It’s always jam-packed. The second drawer is for all kinds of frozen veggies, usually a mix of peas, spinach, broccoli and corn. In the third drawer we keep our leftovers. There are often a couple of unmarked and forgotten soups and curries in the bottom, a bag of bread, a roll of Perfect Pesto and, on lucky days, we also have a bag of these veggie ‘fish’ bites. They are our vegetarian take on a classic. As with most food that you can eat with your hands, these are very kid-friendly, but adults seem to love them too.

Even if they don’t imitate fish exactly, they do have the right light feeling and with a squeeze of lemon on top and dunked in tartar sauce it all feels rather convincing. We have created the recipe so that the potatoes are baked at the same time as the ‘fish’, which is also very convenient. Make a double batch of the cauli ‘fish’ so you’ve got an extra portion in the freezer for lucky days.

Makes 20–24 / Serves 4

Prep + cook time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Cauli ‘Fish’

  • 2 tbsp virgin coconut oil or extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, peeled
  • 1 leek, washed, trimmed and tops removed
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 1 medium cauliflower (600 g/1 lb 5 oz) head and trimmed stalk
  • 1 courgette (zucchini) (130 g/4½ oz)
  • 2 free-range eggs
  • 120 g (4 ¼ oz/1 scant cup) almond flour
  • 150 g (5 ¼ oz/ ¾ cup) cottage cheese
  • zest of 1 large unwaxed lemon
  • ½ tsp sea salt

Potato Chips

  • 500 g (1 lb) baby potatoes, scrubbed
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Tartar Sauce

  • 2 tbsp capers, drained
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 250 ml (8 fl oz/1 cup) plain yoghurt
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

To Serve

  • fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • lemon wedges

Preheat the oven to 200ºC (400ºF/Gas mark 6) and line 2 baking trays with parchment paper.

Heat the oil for the cauli ‘fish’ in a large frying pan (skillet) on a medium-low heat. Finely chop the onion, leek and garlic, transfer to the pan and sauté for about 15 minutes or until the onion and leek have softened. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Meanwhile, roughly chop the cauliflower, transfer to a food processor and blend until the texture resembles coarse breadcrumbs, then set aside. Grate the courgette (zucchini), squeeze out the excess water (you should end up with about 130 g / 4 ½ oz / 1 cup of grated courgette) and set aside. Crack the eggs into a large mixing bowl and whisk until the yolks and whites are combined. Add the sautéed vegetables, cauliflower, courgette and the rest of the cauli ‘fish’ ingredients and mix until combined.

Dip 2 spoons (or your hands) into hot water and shake off the excess water. Take a generous scoop of the cauli ‘fish’ mixture and pass it repeatedly between the spoons, turning and smoothing each side until a neat quenelle or ball is formed. Place the quenelles on one of the baking trays.

To prepare the potato chips, quarter the potatoes, pat dry with kitchen paper and transfer to the second baking tray. Drizzle over the oil, season with salt and pepper and toss until well coated.

Bake the cauli ‘fish’ and potato chips at the same time for 25–30 minutes or until cooked, golden and crispy.

In the meantime, roughly chop the capers and transfer them to a small mixing bowl. Add the rest of the tartar sauce ingredients, season with salt and pepper and mix until combined.

Serve the cauli ‘fish’ accompanied by some chips and topped with a dollop of tartar sauce, scattering of parsley and squeeze of lemon juice.

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Recipe excerpted with permission from "Green Kitchen At Home" by David Frenkiel and Luise Vindahl, published by Hardie Grant Books May 2017