Italian Style Roasted Cauliflower Bites are a deliciously addicting snack with all the flavors of the fried variety and much less guilt.
These addicting little bites of goodness were inspired by a memorable meal that Keith and I shared during a weekend Las Vegas getaway this summer. We booked a reservation at one of our perennial favorites, Otto, because we were craving good pizza and because we enjoy the scenery. You can’t really go wrong with this menu, but the fried cauliflower we shared was oh so right.
Fritti (or fried) equals delicious, as far as we are concerned. It doesn’t always translate to “good for you” though. That’s why as we scarfed down the fried cauliflower with little abandon during vacation, Keith’s chef brain immediately went into overdrive. From the moment we finished that meal, he began talking about how to create some roasted cauliflower bites that maintained all the incredible flavor of the fried variety.
It was no surprise to me that he succeeded. These Italian Style Roasted Cauliflower Bites are addicting and completely delicious. We’ve been eating them as a snack and as a side dish, with little abandon (again) and even less guilt. The light, crispy hints of lemon and parmesan compliment the cauliflower simply and beautifully, and like most fried variations, make it hard to stop at just a few. Sometimes the even the most indulgent “vacation food” can inspire greatness; just ask Keith.
- 1 head cauliflower
- 1½ C Panko bread crumbs
- 1 egg
- ¾ C milk
- 1 C flour, divided
- ½ C grated parmesan cheese
- 2 lemons
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- ½ stick butter
- fresh parsley
- Cut cauliflower into small florets (the smaller the floret the better it will roast).
- Preheat oven to 425°, and line baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, combine milk, egg and ½ cup flour and mix until it forms a thin pancake batter consistency.
- In a large ziplock bag (or large container with lid), combine bread crumbs, cheese, garlic powder and remaining flour.
- Strain cauliflower so that is still wet but not swimming in the batter and add to the crumb mixture. Toss very well until evenly coated.
- Transfer to lined baking sheet and bake for 30-40 minutes. Time will depend on size of florets. They should be golden brown and fork tender.
- While this is baking, combine butter with juice from 1 lemon and mix together until combined. Add 1 tsp fresh chopped parsley and set aside to be used for dipping.
- Remove cauliflower from oven and squeeze juice from remaining lemons (It may seem like a lot but it makes this dish using a lot).
- Transfer to a serving plate and garnish with chopped parsley.