Buffalo Cauliflower ‘Wings’

What a GAME last night! Congrats Toronto & Oakland – both were super entertaining to watch. In spirit of yesterday’s festivities, I’ve decide to post some Buffalo Cauli Wings – nom, nom.

SO…I finally gave into the Buffalo Cauliflower ‘Wings’ craze! After making the rounds at a few favourite eateries to try this stuff out, I put together a recipe of what I enjoyed most from my taste testing – lightly battered, sauce with some depth, tender cauliflower (not overcooked), and a side of dip.

Prior to becoming purely plant based, I was the person who would lay claim to the celery that accompanied a plate of Buffalo Wings. My argument…any excess sauce was meant for the celery; hence that too, I would lay claim of. Luckily, most I’d be sharing with were just happy to have someone consider ‘the garnish’ as an appy in itself.

I love me some hot sauce, but when it comes to wings, I like more depth in my dippings. For this recipe, I added harissa hot sauce/paste (to my Frank’s RedHot Original), along with fresh garlic, and a little pure maple syrup.

For the batter, I like to use brown rice flour as it cooks up well i.e. light & crispy. It’s also gluten free – woot! I prefer not to use parchment paper when baking the cauliflower as I like the batter to crisp up as much as possible and the crispiest side is usually the one that’s touching the baking sheet. Just be sure to grease that baking sheet!

The Ranch Dip…it’s the calm after the storm. With all of that heat it’s nice to have a little something to cool things down. For dips, I tend to rotate between soft organic tofu, nut butter, & raw nuts and/or seeds. I like using tofu as the consistency is a little more dense than that of soaked cashews. Tofu is also a more affordable option and high in protein, so it fits in well with a main such as cauliflower.

Buffalo Cauliflower ‘Wings’
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
50 mins
 

Buffalo Cauli Wings! Perfect savoury + spicy finger food for days spent on the deck, watching the game, or during movie night. 

Course: appetizer, side dish, main
Cuisine: *plant based + gluten free
Keyword: buffalo, cauliflower, wings
Servings: 3 cups
Author: thecrimsonsink
Ingredients
Buffalo Cauliflower ‘Wings’
  • 1 med. head cauliflower
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk, room temp.
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp harissa paste
  • 1/2 cup brown rice flour
  • 1 tbsp grapeseed oil *to grease baking sheet
Buffalo Sauce
  • 2 tbsp plant based butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup Frank’s RedHot Original Hot Sauce or preferred hot sauce
  • 1-1&1/2 tbsp pure maple syrup *to taste
Ranch Dip
  • 1cup /8oz organic silken (soft) tofu – see Recipe Notes for alternative
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1&1/2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp sea salt *to taste
  • 1/2 tsp celery salt
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp dried dill
  • 1/4 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/8 tsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp grapeseed oil or alternative
Instructions
Buffalo Cauliflower ‘Wings’
  1. Preheat the oven to 450*F. Spritz a baking sheet with oil.

  2. Prepare the cauliflower by pulling off the florets into larger bite size pieces. Clean as needed, but be sure the cauliflower is completely dry. Place pieces in a large bowl and set aside.

  3. In a separate bowl, add the almond milk and lemon juice. Stir and allow to rest for about 5mins, or until curdled. Add the harissa paste and whisk to combine. Next, slowly dust in the rice flour while whisking. Continue whisking until combined. Let rest for a few minutes.

  4. Pour the batter over the prepare cauliflower and toss to coat. Allow any excess batter to drip off of the cauliflower back into the bowl. Place the battered cauliflower onto the prepared baking sheet, spaced apart.
  5. Place in the oven on the middle rack. Bake for 15mins *or until batter appears cooked, flipping 2 to 3 times during baking.

  6. Remove from the oven, place the cauliflower into a bowl with the Buffalo Sauce and toss to coat. Place the coated cauliflower back onto the baking sheet and into the oven for another 3-4mins – flip as needed.
  7. Remove from the oven. Top with any leftover Buffalo Sauce, fresh green onions, and a side of Ranch Dip. *Serve Immediately.

Buffalo Sauce
  1. Add the butter and minced garlic to a sauce pan. Place over med./low heat stirring as the butter melts. Once melted, add the hot sauce and maple syrup. Stirring frequently, bring to a gentle simmer. Remove from heat and set aside until ready to use.

Ranch Dip
  1. Place all ingredients except the oil into a bowl. Use a handheld blender to combine the ingredients. *While blending, slowly drizzle in the oil. Blend until smooth.
  2. If you have a Vitamix, the Blending Bowls work well for blending this dip.

  3. Store in the fridge in an airtight container until ready to use. Good for 3-5days.
Recipe Notes

~ The Ranch Dip can also be made using raw cashews. Simply replace the silken tofu with raw cashews (soaked in hot water for 15mins, then rinsed under cold water to cool) and add little-by-litte more almond milk as needed until desired consistency is reached. 

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