Crispy Roasted Buffalo Cauliflower with Smoked Blue and Avocado.
No tailgate party is complete without crispy buffalo cauliflower!
I know that I’ve been riding the cauliflower train frequently this year, which of course is normal, because I am never in style. I never like trends when they first happen, I am never cool enough to like something when it’s first having a moment.
And in the last few years, I’ve realized that I really LOVE cauliflower. Not that I just love cauliflower masquerading as pizza crust or queso (though I enjoy both of those things since I adore the flavor!) – I love it roasted to perfection on it’s own!
And since this is a blog where I unapologetically make the things I like to eat, which usually results in me taking an ingredient and cooking with it nonstop for six months, eventually taking all the fun out of it for everyone else (hello, my family), it’s the way I learn to REALLY get the full ingredient scope of things. Things being recipes. Apparently.
I’m also really good at run-on sentences that make no sense! Awesome.
Way back when I started the blog, I told you about how cauliflower was one of the first veggies I got into because it sort of “tasted like popcorn” when roasted. I was not wrong. Sometimes it does have a verrrrry slight popcorn flavor. Do you ever taste it?
But! What I love the most about cauliflower is how fantastic it tastes with just about everything you combine it with. It’s not as bitter as broccoli. It goes perfectly with cheese, obviously. As if I even needed to mention it. But it’s incredible with flavors like buffalo wing and barbecue.
I wish I could say that I make it and serve it and eat it to be healthy, but it’s honestly just because we freaking love it so much. And I’m not stopping here!
Ever since I first tested the buffalo wing cauliflower flatbread for The Pretty Dish five or so years ago, the combo has had its grip on me. You know how I always say that I like to order a buffalo chicken pizza… without the chicken? Well, this is the solution. It’s heavenly.
You’ll probably be glad to know that I used the last of the smoked blue cheese on this cauliflower. If you can grab smoked blue, it is KEY here. The depth of flavor that it adds is incredible. Instead of baby arugula or actual greens, I like to serve this with some microgreens. They don’t overwhelm the cauliflower and they provide a nice balance.
While this could obviously be a weeknight meal or side dish, I wanted to share it today because I think it’s SO GOOD for football season! So good, as in, I would sit and eat this and ignore all the dips and pizza and chilis.
Yes. Sounds exactly like me.
Crispy Buffalo Cauliflower
- 1 medium head cauliflower, cut into florets
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ⅓ cup crumbled smoked blue cheese
- 2 tablespoons chopped chives
- 2 tablespoons buffalo wing sauce
- 1 avocado, thinly sliced and sprinkled with salt and pepper
- 2 cups arugula microgreens
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Toss the cauliflower florets with the olive oil, making sure they are all coated well. Stir together the sugar, salt, paprika, garlic powder, pepper and cayenne. Sprinkle it over the cauliflower and use your hands to toss, making sure all the bits of cauliflower get the seasoning.
Roast the cauliflower for 10 to 12 minutes, then flip and roast for 5 to 15 more. If you have reeeally tiny bits of cauliflower that are starting to burn, roast for less time. Keep an eye on it and set the timer in 5 minute increments to check the progress!
Remove the cauliflower and immediately sprinkle it with the smoked blue cheese. Drizzle it with wing sauce and sprinkle it with the chives. Serve immediately with a handful of microgreens and sliced avocado!
Might even choose it over cake.