In spite of my own personal and professional interest in food, when given a choice between eating and chatting at a party, I will always chose chatting. At sit down dinners, I’m often last to finish my food. Stand up affairs generally result in a pizza order when I get home. (Happily, Brian will never give you the side eye for suggesting an 11pm pizza order.) However, I will totally dig in to a tray of snacks. Easy finger food at parties is something I adore. One hand, one bite, and done. All party eats should be as simple.
These cauliflower bites were driven by my love for single bite snacks and they do not disappoint. They’re crusted with a mix of crispy Progresso Plain Panko Crispy Breadcrumbs and a whole lot of shredded Parm, plus sneaky/delicious flavor additions like mustard, onion, and garlic powder. The cauliflower cooks up tender with an airy, crispy, cheesy outside that’s every bit as irresistible as it sounds.
The toughest thing about this recipe was deciding on the right dip. After testing a few variations, I finally arrived at this ranch-inspired roasted garlic and buttermilk dip. Since the cauliflower was already in the oven, I threw a head of garlic in to roast alongside. Once cool, I mashed a few of the roasted cloves and swirled in mayo, buttermilk, lemon juice, and herbs. This dip is pleasantly tangy and creamy, and just perfect drizzled over these crispy panko Parmesan cauliflower florets.
- 1 head cauliflower core removed and cut into bite-sized florets
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 cup Progresso Plain Panko Crispy Breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
- 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1 head garlic root end trimmed
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil plus a drizzle more
- minced parsley and chives to finish
- 1/2 head roasted garlic
- 1/2 cup mayo
- 1/4 cup buttermilk
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon minced parsley
- 1 tablespoon minced chives
- fresh ground pepper
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Set out a wire rack into a rimmed baking sheet or use a standard broiling pan.
Break or cut cauliflower into florets and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk to combine eggs and milk.
In a large, shallow bowl, fold together Plain Panko Crispy Breadcrumbs, Parmesan, mustard, onion, and garlic powder, sea salt, lemon zest, and pepper.
Working quickly, dip a few florets at a time in the egg mixture, let some off the mixture drip off, dredge all sides in to panko mixture, and set carefully on the prepared wire rack or broiling pan. Repeat for all the florets.
Set out a large square of foil, drizzle with 1 teaspoon olive oil, place trimmed garlic in oil, and seal foil packet up tight. Set on baking sheet with cauliflower.
Slide into oven and bake 15 minutes. Carefully flip florets (a bit of the panko mixture will stick – don't worry about it), slide back into oven, and bake another 15 - 20 minutes or until florets are a rich golden hue.
After a total of 25 minutes, pull garlic packet and carefully check that it's cooked through. Garlic cook times vary according to size. Once cooked (garlic should be golden and very soft), unwrap, and squeeze out about half the cloves. Mash cloves with a fork, then whisk in lemon juice, followed by mayo, buttermilk, and herbs. Add sea salt to taste.
Sprinkle cauliflower with fresh herbs. Serve cauliflower and dip immediately.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Progresso. Thanks for supporting the brands that make original content on BkS possible!