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There are few things more satisfying than dipping a hot, savoury buffalo wing into a creamy, cool, ranch dip and chowing down… And how divine not to encounter the bones of a bird in the middle of your second bite! All hail cauliflower!

You will need

Serves 2

  • 1 large head cauliflower (about 900g)
  • 1 3/4 cups panko breadcrumbs
  • Salt and pepper, to season

Batter

  • 125g plain flour
  • 50g cornflour
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 250ml (1 cup) soy milk

Buffalo sauce

  • 125ml (1/2 cup) hot sauce
  • 3 tablespoons dairy-free butter
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soft brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika

Ranch dipping sauce

  • 60ml (1⁄4 cup) soy milk
  • 250ml (1 cup) vegan mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons snipped chives
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley (or dill fronds)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon or American mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • Small pinch of paprika
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

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Directions

25 mins to prep

50 mins to bake

Step 1

To make the ranch dipping sauce: Make a basic buttermilk by combining the soy milk and lemon juice in a large bowl. Set aside for a few minutes to thicken. Stir through the remaining ingredients, then taste and adjust the flavours (if necessary) to suit your taste. Set aside in the fridge.

Step 2

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease and line a baking tray.

In a large bowl, create the batter by stirring together the dry ingredients. Whisk through 200ml of the soy milk and rest for 10 minutes until as thick as someone arguing that plants have feelings, adding more liquid only if needed.

Step 3

Break the cauliflower into smaller-than-bite-sized florets (about 20 chunks).

Place the breadcrumbs in a small bowl and season with salt and pepper. Dunk the florets into the batter, coating generously, then toss them in the breadcrumbs and transfer to the prepared tray. Bake for 20 minutes, flipping halfway through and gathering any batter that may have dripped from the cauliflower – don’t let it get away! Scoop it back on top.

Step 4

While baking, whisk the buffalo sauce ingredients together in a saucepan and heat for 2 minutes until melded together.

Once the cauliflower is ready, use tongs to drown the florets one by one in the buffalo sauce, letting them sit for a few seconds to soak up the flavour.

Step 5

Revive the cauliflower by returning it to the tray and baking for a further 20-25 minutes, flipping halfway through. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving with the ranch sauce.

 

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