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The new hot bar snack is … cauliflower?

Florets finally get their moment in the spotlight this year as chefs explore cauliflower’s indulgent side by double-frying it, dousing it in buffalo sauce or serving it up kung-pao.
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Rotisserie Cauliflower dish at Branch Line in Boston | Photo by Fawn Deviney

Rotisserie Cauliflower dish at Branch Line in Boston | Photo by Fawn Deviney

Cauliflower, like other veggies in the cruciferous family, packs a solid dose of potassium, fiber, vitamin C and folic acid—but it needn’t be eaten as health food. Here are some ways broccoli’s cousin has become the new, hot bar snack.

Buffalo Cauliflower
at Founders Ale House, Los Angeles
Florets are dredged in rice milk, then tossed in flour and corn meal and double deep-fried to create a texture similar to a crisp-on-the-outside, soft-on-the-inside French fry. Choose from several housemade sauces: vegan ranch, buffalo, black garlic, Caribbean jerk or barbecue.

Rotisserie Cauliflower
at Branch Line, Boston
A staple since the restaurant’s opening in October 2015, the whole, spit-cooked head of cauliflower is a tender and hearty main course, jazzed up with seasonal vegetable or cheese sauces. Pair it with one of the bar’s 20 local-heavy drafts.

Kung Pao Cauliflower
at INC. Restaurant, New Brunswick, New Jersey
This is a best-selling riff on a beloved takeout dish with rice-flour-dusted cauliflower tossed in a sweet-and-sour sauce; it’s garnished with sesame seeds, peanuts, basil and a zing of jalapeno. Three dozen beers in cans and bottles await to cool you down.

Fried Cauliflower
at Almanac Taproom and Beer Garden, San Francisco
Crispy parsley, sage and capers, combined with a spritz of lemon juice, perk up this fresh (and vegan-friendly) spin on fried cauliflower that debuted at the taproom this past winter.

Caramelized Cauliflower
at Bramling Cross, Seattle
Dukkah spice puts an Egyptian spin on these pan-roasted florets served over a Sultana raisin puree with a dollop of Greek yogurt to temper the spice. The gastropub’s bar offers plenty of local drafts, including beers from Reuben’s Brews, Lucky Envelope and Holy Mountain, to quench your thirst.

Cauliflower Bites
at The Winchester, Grand Rapids, Michigan
Share an order of these panko-crusted, golden-fried spheres and compare notes on which of the dipping sauces—honey mustard, blue cheese vinaigrette or buffalo—reigns supreme.

Fried Cauliflower
at Warehouse, Charleston, South Carolina
Black pepper aioli accompanies buttery, crunchy beer-battered and fried florets coated with lemon butter bread crumbs and parsley. They’re a perfect nosh during the pre-dinner happy hour when pints are just $5.

 

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