This crispy vegan and gluten-free cauliflower is warm and tender on the inside with a crisp, coconutty exterior. It's delicious all on its own yet its flavors come to life when dipped in a naturally sweetened, subtly spicy chile-mango sauce.
Course: Appetizer, Light Bites, Snack
Servings: 4to 6
Crispy Coconut Cauliflower
1medium head of cauliflower (6" to 7" in diameter), outer leaves removed and cored
¾cupgluten-free rolled oats
1 ½cupsunsweetened shredded coconut, divided
1teaspoonfine grain sea salt
¼teaspoonfreshly ground black pepper
1 ¼cupsUnsweetened Silk Original Cashewmilk or Almondmilk
¾cupbrown rice flour
1tablespoonfresh lime juice
Small handful fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)
1 ½cupsdiced fresh mango (about 1 large mango peeled and diced)
1tablespoonsto 2 filtered water, only if absolutely needed
2tablespoonschile-garlic sauce or Sriracha, more or less to taste*
1tablespoonfresh lime juice
To Make the Crispy Coconut Cauliflower
Preheat the oven to 400F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
Cut the cauliflower into bite-size florets and set aside.
Add the rolled oats to a food processor. Process for 20 seconds or until a coarse meal forms. You don't want the oats to be a fine flour, but rather a texture similar to panko bread crumbs. Then, add 1 cup of the shredded coconut, coconut sugar, sea salt, paprika, and black pepper. Pulse 10 to 15 times to roughly chop the coconut and incorporate the spices. Transfer to a large, shallow bowl or baking dish and stir in the remaining ½ cup shredded coconut.
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the the almond milk, brown rice flour, and lime juice until smooth.
Create an assembly line by lining up the cauliflower florets, almond milk mixture, coconut-oat mixture, and lined baking pans.
Place about a small handful of cauliflower florets into the almond milk batter and toss to coat. Use a slotted spoon to remove the florets, shaking off excess batter, and transfer to the coconut-oat mixture. Toss to thoroughly coat and transfer to the lined baking sheets. Repeat with all remaining cauliflower, evenly dividing between the two pans.
Bake the cauliflower for 26 to 32 minutes, or until crispy and golden, tossing at the 15-minute mark.
Remove from oven and cool slightly.
For the Chile-Mango Dipping Sauce
Prepare the sauce while the cauliflower bakes. Add the mango to a high-speed blender and blend until completely smooth. It should blend on its own without any problem but if absolutely needed, add the water, 1 tablespoon at a time, to encourage blending. Transfer to a medium bowl and whisk in the chile-garlic sauce, lime juice, and tamari. Keep chilled until ready to serve.
If desired, sprinkle the cauliflower with cilantro. Serve warm from the oven alongside the sauce.**
*I use 2 tablespoons of chile-garlic sauce for a nice, slow-burning kick of heat. Feel free to use more or less to suit your tastes. **The cauliflower is best served fresh from the oven.