Once, a long, long time ago I was a vegetarian. It started summer of 8th grade (throwback) when I informed my dad that I thought the way we slaughtered animals was inhumane. Of course I decided to go on this rant while my dad was preparing steaks for grilling…so he clearly did not see eye to eye with me, nor did he believe that I would follow through on my promise to be a vegetarian. He bet me $200 that I could not be a vegetarian for a year. Being the stubborn teenager (still stubborn, but now a young woman) that I was, I decided to be a vegetarian not for one year, but for five. Clearly, from my blog entries I now eat meat, but to this day I do not eat a lot of red meat.
As a vegetarian, throughout high school and part of college, I learned how to utilize produce in lots of different ways. One of my favorite vegetables is cauliflower. It is so versatile. You can eat it raw, add it to soup, make “rice” or “mashed potatoes” from it, steam it, roast it…you name the cooking method, cauliflower has played a role.
Buffalo cauliflower was a recipe my vegetarian friend, Rebecca, shared with me. When she told me she was making buffalo cauliflower, my reaction was something like this, “STOP. How have I not thought of combining two of my favorite ingredients– hot sauce and cauliflower– before?” She shared her recipe with me and I have modified it a bit to suit my never-satiated, spice-addicted palette.
This recipe is a perfect vegetarian-friendly addition to a football game day food spread. If you want to make it vegan, omit the butter completely. It is a yummy tapas-style snack and can accompany many meals as a side. I love to serve mine with some home-made curry ketchup or greek yogurt ranch dressing.
Hope you enjoy this spicy little number as much as I do.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
1 head of cauliflower
3 T extra virgin olive oil
1/2 t smoked red paprika
1/4 t red pepper flakes
1 t garlic powder
sea salt and cracked pepper to taste
1/4 to 1/3 C Frank’s Red Hot Sauce (original flavor)
1 T butter
- Preheat oven to 425 F. Cover bottom of a baking dish with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray.
- Remove the leaves and stalk of the cauliflower and break/cut florets into bite-size pieces (size of ping pong ball). Rinse the florets and place in a gallon resealable plastic bag.
- Add the olive oil, paprika, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, salt and pepper to the bag. Seal and shake well until the florets are covered in the oil and spices.
- Spread florets evenly on the baking dish. Bake for 25-30 minutes (until florets are fork tender and start to char). Transfer florets to a medium-size mixing bowl.
- Melt butter in microwave-safe dish, stir in hot sauce. Pour hot sauce mixture over the florets, and stir gently, using a spatula to prevent florets from breaking into smaller pieces. Make sure cauliflower is coated evenly with hot sauce.
- Place florets back on baking dish and cook an additional 10 minutes. Serve hot with your favorite dip.