Barbecue Buffalo Cauliflower
 with a tangy ranch dip

Spicy barbecue buffalo cauliflower served with a tangy ranch dipping sauce

Barbecue Buffalo Cauliflower is a both a great crowd-pleaser and a tasty snack. Served with a tangy ranch dipping sauce, it’s the perfect summer treat and a much healthier, tastier alternative to buffalo chicken wings!

I’ve adapted this recipe from one of Bosh!’s recipes: they have created so much delicious vegan food, and their buffalo cauliflower was no exception! I’ve made a few changes to adapt to cooking on a barbecue, as well as homemaking the extra-buttery buffalo sauce, but all credit goes to them for the backbone of this recipe.

For this recipe we’ll be cooking over indirect heat to bake the barbecue buffalo cauliflower while still getting the delicious smoky flavour from the barbecue. If using a ceramic barbecue such as a Monolith, don’t forget to use heat deflector stones. However, this time I used a Grillson to cook on – using their smoke diffuser attachment below the grill grates I was able to create indirect heat for cooking the cauliflower.

The barbecue buffalo cauliflower ready to cook on a Grillson pellet grill

Serves 6 as a snack. Prep time: 1 hour. Cooking time: 1 hour.

Ingredients

For the cauliflower and its coating:

  • 1 head of cauliflower, broken into little bite sized pieces
  • 180g (1½ cup) plain flour
  • 360ml (1½ cup) soy milk (or another plant-based milk)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 150g (1½ cup) breadcrumbs (best made from stale bread)

For the extra-buttery buffalo sauce:

  • 200g (1 cup) butter, melted
  • 200ml (⅔ cup) hot chilli sauce (I use Sriracha)
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp vegan/gluten free Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 clove garlic, minced

For the ranch sauce:

  • 6 tbsp aquafaba (chickpea water)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp cracked black pepper
  • 180ml (¾ cup) vegetable oil
  • Handful fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • A few chives, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

Allergens: gluten (flour, breadcrumbs – feel free to use gluten free alternatives), soy (soya milk, potentially vegan soy sauce and vegan butter – use a different plant milk and a soy-free vegan Worcestershire sauce and vegan butter to avoid soy).

Making the barbecue buffalo cauliflower

Start by lighting the barbecue – remember to set up your barbecue for cooking on indirect heat to create an oven environment. Heat your barbecue up to around 180°C (356°F).

Whisk together the soy milk and flour to make a batter, then mix in the garlic, onion powder, cumin, smoked paprika, salt and pepper. Pour the breadcrumbs into a large bowl.

Dipping the cauliflower pieces into the the thick batter

Take each piece of cauliflower and dip it into the batter, holding it by the stem. Then, roll each one in the breadcrumbs before placing it onto a lined baking tray. Pop the baking trays onto the barbecue and cook the cauliflower over indirect heat for around 20 minutes.

Coating the battered cauliflower in breadcrumbs

In the meantime, mix together the buffalo sauce ingredients in a large jug. After 20 minutes, take the breadcrumbed cauliflower out of the barbecue and pour the buffalo sauce over every piece. Roll the cauliflower around in the sauce to make sure each piece is nicely coated, then put it back into the barbecue for a further 25-30 minutes, until the outside of the cauliflower is nice and crispy.

Pouring buffalo sauce over the breaded cauliflower pieces

While waiting for the barbecue buffalo cauliflower to cook, put the aquafaba, garlic, salt and black pepper into a high speed blender and blitz. Gradually pour in the vegetable oil and keep mixing until the sauce visibly thickens up – if the sauce is still runny after a minute of blitzing, add in some extra aquafaba and blitz until you reach a mayonnaise consistency. Add the parsley, chives and lemon juice to the mayonnaise-like mixture and stir in gently to make your ranch dipping sauce.

Once the cauliflower has crisped up, take it off the barbecue: it’s ready to eat! Serve the barbecue buffalo cauliflower hot with the tangy ranch dipping sauce. Enjoy!

A platter of barbecue buffalo cauliflower wings with the ranch dipping sauce

Why isn't Worcestershire sauce vegan?

As you may have noticed, in the buffalo sauce I specify that the ingredient of Worcestershire sauce must be a vegan version; it usually contains anchovies, hence is not vegan. However, seeing as tamarind is the dominant flavour in Worcestershire sauce, it is relatively easy to make vegan and is readily available to buy online and in good supermarkets. For more information about Worcestershire sauce and its variations, click here.


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