These golden, crunchy tots are made entirely with cauliflower! No potatoes to be found. They’re baked, not fried, and have that same addicting, I-can’t-stop-eating-these quality that real tater tots have. They almost taste like them. Except they don’t. Not exactly. Cauliflower has a distinct smell that gives them away. Almost tater tots.
Cauliflower is kind of bland on its own and will take to pretty much any flavors you want to spice it up with. In this case I used garlic and Parmesan cheese. The garlic is steamed along with the florets until soft then smashed up and mixed into the tots along with the Parmesan, plus egg whites and flour to help hold it all together and soak up any remaining water left in the cauliflower.
The mixture is spread out in a pan and chilled in the freezer for an hour or two to make for easier handling. It’s cut into tots, rolled in Parmesan panko crumbs and baked to a golden, crispity-crunchity brown with soft, creamy insides. They’re completely and utterly delicious dipped into ketchup just like a real tator tot.
The mixture is versatile to anything you want to flavor it with be it a different kind of cheese, even a melty one like cheddar, crumbled bacon or ham and different herbs and/or spices. I’m itchin’ to make a spicy jalapeno popper version.
Almost tater tots. Better than the real things. Try some today.
- Steam the florets and garlic until fork tender. Pour the water from the bottom of the pan out and dry the cauliflower out over medium heat. Stir it around to cook off some of the excess water 3 – 4 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Fish out the garlic cloves and mash them up with a fork. Add them to the pan with the cauliflower and use a potato masher to mash them up until it resembles clumpy rice. Let it cool to barely warm.
- Mix in the flour, 1/ 2 cup Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper the the egg whites.
- Line an 8 or 9-inch square pan with plastic wrap or parchment paper letting the edges hang over the side. Lightly spray with nonstick spray.
- Spoon the cauliflower into the pan and spread out evenly. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze 1 – 2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly grease a large non-stick baking sheet with olive oil. Stir both bread crumbs and remaining parmesan together in a large, shallow bowl.
- Remove the cauliflower to a cutting board and cut into tater tots, any size you like (mine were a little less than an inch long by about 1/3 to 1/2-inch wide). Toss in the bread crumbs, patting them on with your hands if needed (if they don’t stick you can spray them lightly with cooking spray first) and place on baking sheet, close but not touching.
- Spray them lightly with cooking spray and bake 18 minutes. Turn the tots over and bake 10 – 15 more minutes, depending on their size until golden brown.
Adapted from Eating Well
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