Side Dish Savvy—Buffalo Cauliflower
Second on my list of most hated veggies (behind Brussels sprouts) sits cauliflower. While others rave about how wonderful it is, I’ve never been able to understand their enthusiasm.
But when my son told me he ate Buffalo Cauliflower and liked it, I first rolled my eyes and then realized I would have to give it another chance. If he could try it, I figured I should follow his example.
You see, my son’s girlfriend is a vegetarian so he has had to branch out when it comes to what he eats.
That’s not a bad thing.
The Nudge You Need to Try Something New
In fact, that’s what I’m trying to accomplish with my blog. Getting you out of your recipe rut and getting you to try something new or re-try something you think you dislike.
So, that’s how Buffalo Cauliflower made it onto my menu one night.
And then my daughter promptly announced she wasn’t going to eat it. Sigh…
Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda
I’ll cut my daughter a break on this one because she’s not a huge fan of buffalo sauce and she says she’s not a fan at all of cauliflower. That second part might be on me. Most likely I transferred my dislike of cauliflower to her by:
- 1. Never making it, and
- 2. Making a face when anyone mentioned cauliflower.
What I banned in my kitchen turned into something she never tried, so she grew up thinking she doesn’t like.
So, I have to take the L on that for the Ireland team. If I could go back and try different recipes for foods on my kids’ dislike list, I would. Sometimes it just takes the right recipe…
Keep reading to see how the Buffalo Cauliflower preparation changed my mind about my second most-hated veggie.
Side Dish Savvy−Buffalo Cauliflower
Simple to Make−Buffalo Cauliflower
Get the recipe from: Tasty
My son is storing some things in his college apartment over the summer for a fellow athlete and one of those things is an air fryer.
It would be wrong for that air fryer to just sit there, unused, for the entire summer, right?
So one night he decided to make air fryer chicken wings for dinner.
I know you’re asking, “but what would his vegetarian girlfriend eat?”
Don’t worry about her. She’s highly independent and she came prepared with the Buffalo Cauliflower recipe.
Which brings us to this post.
I figured if my son was able to give one of the worst vegetables on the planet a try, so could I, right? I mean, maybe it would turn out not to be one of the worst veggies. Unlikely, but there’s always a chance.
Six things to know about the Buffalo Cauliflower Recipe:
- This is a pantry pull recipe for me (other than the cauliflower, of course!). Most of us have the batter ingredients on hand. If you’re not a fan of hot sauce, you may need to add that to your list.
- The batter should be on the thicker side−no runny batter! You want the batter to cling to the cauliflower, not run off onto your baking sheet or air fryer pan. So, add that milk or milk alternative in a bit at a time until you get the right consistency. You may or may not need all of it.
- I modified the recipe to make the cauliflower in my air fryer. The recipe lists an oven preparation which takes a total of 40 minutes to bake the cauliflower. I wanted a quicker side dish, I wanted to use my air fryer, and I didn’t want to heat up the kitchen with the oven, so I played with the instructions so I could make the cauliflower in my air fryer.
- My air fryer cooked the cauliflower in 20 minutes and here’s how you can do it. That’s half the time it would have taken to bake it in the oven. Spray your air fryer rack with cooking spray, place the cauliflower in a single layer on the rack, air fry at 350° for 10 minutes, brush the cauliflower with the buffalo sauce, then air fry for an additional 10 minutes. Because of how my air fryer cooks, I flipped the cauliflower a few times during the cooking process to ensure they browned evenly. Do whatever works best with your air fryer.
- I used coconut oil and Louisiana Hot Sauce for the Buffalo sauce. If you store your coconut oil at room temperature like I do, you’ll need to melt it (microwave works just fine for this) prior to measuring it and adding it to the sauce. I used Louisiana Hot Sauce because that’s what I had on hand. You could also try Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo Wings Sauce. That would be wonderful as well.
- The spice level is up to you. As written, with the 1/4 C. buffalo sauce or hot sauce and the 1 Tbsp. honey, this isn’t a super spicy sauce. If you want it spicier, substitute a hotter habeñero- or ghost pepper-based sauce for the buffalo or hot sauce.
You might not like everything you try, but it’s always worth trying something new. So, what did I learn by re-trying my second-most-hated vegetable?
- This preparation worked for me. I realized I liked the mid-sized pieces the best. For me, it was like the Goldilocks story−a matter of finding a piece that was just right. Really it was about the right batter to cauliflower ratio. The larger florets didn’t have enough crunchy exterior and the smaller ones seemed like they were all batter. Note to self: cut medium-sized portions of the florets.
- We will be buying our son an air fryer when he has to relinquish the one he’s storing to its rightful owner.