A surprisingly tasty appetizer, made with pureed cauliflower and reminiscent of a buffalo chicken dip.
There doesn’t seem to be much desired when talking about cauliflower. I love it roasted and lightly salted, or slathered with melted cheese. But, it still is pretty overlooked when talking about favorite vegetables.
Let me help you change your perspective. Lately, I’ve seen recipes pop up all over the place with cauliflower as the star ingredient. It is used in such creative ways, from mashed “potatoes”, to faux buffalo wings (seriously!). Now I’m finding it as a dip!
This cauliflower dip I found on The Daily Meal, created by Heather Christo, was one of the two recipes I contributed to last month’s Pinterest Party. (This Snickers Cake was the other.) Not knowing what to expect, I ended up LOVING the dip and will make it again for the football season.
I did make quite a few changes, though. I hate/loathe/despise goat cheese, so omitted it altogether. Instead of shredded Monterey Jack cheese, I used shredded Mexican flavored cheese that was already in my fridge. More cayenne pepper was needed, and next time I make it I’m adding some hot sauce (indicated in my version below). This dip serves well with vegetables, crackers, chips or pretzels. At the party, I served it with sweet peppers, grape tomatoes, Ritz crackers and Cheddar Chipotle Pretzel Crisps.
Pinterest Party: Baked Buffalo Cauliflower Dip
- 1/2 teaspoon salt , plus more to salt boiling water
- 1 head cauliflower , cut into florets
- 2 cloves garlic , peeled and halved
- 8 ounces cream cheese , quartered
- 1 package (8 oz) shredded Mexican flavored cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper , more or less to taste
- 1/4 cup hot sauce , more or less to taste
- Vegetables , crackers, pretzels, chips (for dipping)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Boil the cauliflower florets in a large pot of salted boiling water until just fork tender, about 3-5 minutes; drain and transfer to the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Add the garlic to the bowl and pulse until combined. Add the cream cheese and process until somewhat smooth.
Add the cheese, cayenne pepper and hot sauce then process until smooth. Sprinkle in more cayenne pepper and hot sauce, to taste. Transfer to a baking dish (at least 1 1/2 quart sized). Sprinkle the top with more cayenne pepper for garnish, if desired.
Bake for 30 minutes, until hot and bubbly. Serve hot, warm or at room temperature with the vegetables, crackers, pretzels and/or chips.