Ok, I admit it, I am completely obsessed with any kind of crunchy, baked cauliflower recipe. I am still WAY into this version of Springfield-style cashew cauliflower and also this Hot Cauliflower Pizza. And I can’t stop, guys!
These Spicy Pimento Cauliflower Bites are crunchy, spicy and go oh-so-well with the creamy pimento cheese dip I made alongside them. This is vegetarian comfort food at its best if you ask me.
The pimento cheese dip is prefect for, well, dipping the cauliflower bites into. Although I think I like it equally as well on top of celery sticks. And I don’t usually like celery sticks. 🙂
The recipe below is a good size for two as a meal or you could totally serve this as a fun and different appetizer or at a party. Maybe Super Bowl food? I don’t know. If you mention the Super Bowl weeks after it happened will you give yourself away as the barely aware non-fan that you might be? Hmm… I guess we’ll see.
Spicy Pimento Cauliflower Bites + Pimento Cheese Dip, serves 2 as a meal or more as an appetizer
1 head of cauliflower
1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup milk
1 tablespoon diced pimento (from a 4 oz. jar)
2 tablespoons hot sauce, divided
2/3 cup bread crumbs
For the dip:
4 oz. cream cheese
2 oz. sharp cheddar
2 tablespoons mayo
remaining pimentos from 4 oz. jar
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons honey, for the tops
celery sticks to serve
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Remove the bottom leaves and stem from the cauliflower head and cut into small florets. In a food processor blend together the flour, milk, pimento, and 1 tablespoon of hot sauce. In another bowl, place the bread crumbs. Dip the cauliflower pieces in the flour mix, then in the bread crumbs. Then place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and coated in the olive oil. Once you’ve dipped all the cauliflower pieces, bake for 20 minutes.
While those bake, prepare the pimento cheese dip. In a food processor combine the cream cheese, cheddar, mayo, pimentos, onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper, and salt. Blend to combine well, then remove to a small bowl.
Once the cauliflower bites are done, remove from the oven. In a small bowl or cup, stir together the remaining 1 tablespoon hot sauce and the honey. Brush or drizzle over the baked cauliflower bites.
Serve alongside the dip with some celery sticks. Here’s just a few notes:
-I used white whole wheat flour, almond milk, and 100% whole wheat Panko bread crumbs for my version. But you can use virtually any flour, milk, and bread crumb situation that you prefer.
-You can also use any hot sauce that you like. I used Tapatio this time, but I also really love Cholula. 🙂
Enjoy! xo. Emma
Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Photos edited with the NEW A Beautiful Mess actions.