Carolina Kitchen: Crispy cauliflower cakes with kale pesto

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Crispy cauliflower cakes with kale pesto (Photo credit: WLOS Staff)

The Writer's Bistro; Chef Richard Petrelli

Serves 5


  • Cauliflower 1 head
  • Garlic 1 Tablespoon
  • Shredded cheddar cheese 1/4 cup
  • Egg 2 eggs beaten
  • Rice flour 1/4 cup
  • Chives 2 Tablespoons
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Kale Pesto:

  • Kale 3 cups chopped
  • Almonds 1/2 cup toasted
  • Shredded parmesan 1/2 cup
  • Lemon zest 1 teaspoon
  • Garlic 2 cloves minced
  • Olive oil 1/2 cup
  • Lemon juice 1 Tablespoon
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. To make pesto, first remove stems from kale and roughly chop. Add kale to food processor and begin to pulse. Add garlic clove and pulse some more. Add almonds, Parmesan and lemon zest and pulse again.
  2. At this point, season with salt and pepper and add lemon juice and turn on food processor. While processor is running, slowly stream in olive oil until it resembles a bright green paste.
  3. To make cakes, first cut cauliflower into florets. Place in food processor and run until cauliflower resembles a rice consistency.
  4. Place in mixing bowl with remaining ingredients and mix until combined.
  5. Place medium skillet on stove and turn heat to medium/high. Pour about 2 tablespoons of oil into pan and let it warm.
  6. With hands or ice cream scoop, place cauliflower mixture in warm pan for desired size. Lightly press down to shape.
  7. Cook for 2-3 minutes on one side or until golden brown and flip. Repeat on second side.
  8. Serve with kale pesto and optional sour cream.