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Author Notes: The flavors of buffalo wings and tater tots come together in this game-day ready snack (But, surprise! This recipe doesn’t call for chicken OR potatoes).
Sometimes forming cauliflower or broccoli-based “tater” tots can be a hassle, but this recipe uses two genius techniques to create a tot mixture that holds together, is easy to form and has the perfect tot-texture: 1) Pulsing the cauliflower in two stages: one coarse and one fine helps bind everything together 2) Letting the raw tot mixture sit for 10-15 minutes so the breadcrumbs soak up some of the moisture making it stiffer and easier to shape.
These cauliflower tots are inspired by the broccoli and cheddar tots that took the internet by storm—featured on PopSugar, I am Food Blog and Skinny Taste. —Asha Loupy
Makes about 36 tots
For the tots
- 1 pound cauliflower, cut into florets
- 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, grated
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 green onions, finely chopped
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 2-3 tablespoons vinegar-based hot sauce, like Frank’s (depending on how hot you want it)
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
For the blue cheese dipping sauce
- 2 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
- 1/3 cup sour cream
- 2 tablespoons buttermilk
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- pinches sea salt
- To make the cauliflower tots, fill a large pot (that will fit a steamer basket) with about 2 inches of water and bring to a boil. Place a steamer basket in the bottom on the pan and steam the cauliflower florets until just barely tender, about 3-4 minutes. Spread the steamed cauliflower on a sheet pan and let cool to room temperature.
- Transfer 3/4 of the cauliflower to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse 8 to 10 times until the cauliflower is coarsely chopped, about the size of israeli couscous. Transfer the chopped cauliflower to a large bowl. Add the remaining quarter of the cauliflower to to the food processor and pulse 15 to 20 times until finely ground, almost bordering on being a paste, and add to the rest of the coarsely chopped cauliflower.
- Add the grated cheese, eggs, chopped green onion, garlic, hot sauce, smoked paprika, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper to the cauliflower and stir to combine. Let the mixture sit for 10-15 minutes (this will allow the breadcrumbs to soak up some of the moisture of the rest of the ingredients making it easier to mold into tots).
- While the buffalo cauliflower mixture is resting, preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment and set aside.
- To form the tots, take a tablespoon of the buffalo cauliflower mixture and gently compress it in your hands, rolling it into a oval tot shape. Place the finished tot on your reserved parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining cauliflower.
- Bake the buffalo cauliflower tots until they are golden brown, flipping halfway through cooking, about 25-30 minutes total.
- While the buffalo cauliflower tots are baking, make the blue cheese dipping sauce. Combine all the dipping sauce ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside.
- Remove the buffalo cauliflower tots from the oven and let them sit to cool slightly, about 5 minutes. Pile on a platter and serve alongside the blue cheese dipping sauce.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Recipe with a Smarty Pants Trick or Technique