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Cauliflower Nuggets
Crispy Cauliflower Nuggets PHOTO: LIZ ANDREW/STYLING: ERIN MCDOWELL

Confession: We’re obsessed with cauliflower. It’s one of the few foods you can substitute for, well, almost anything and still feel satisfied. Take this recipe for crispy cauliflower nuggets. They’re so crunchy and crave-able, you’ll forget you’re eating vegetables. (The aioli for dipping helps, too.)

RELATED: 11 Tasty (and Easy) Ways to Replace Carbs with Cauliflower

Makes 4 servings
Start to Finish: 1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients

Nuggets

Oil, as needed for frying

2 eggs

1½ cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1¼ teaspoons salt

¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Pinch of cayenne pepper

1 head cauliflower, cut into bite-size florets 

Lemon-Pepper Aioli

¾ cup mayonnaise

1 lemon, zested and juiced

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

¼ cup chopped fresh parsley, or as needed for finishing

Directions

1. Make the cauliflower: Pour 2 to 3 inches of oil into a large sauté pan. Heat the oil over medium-high heat until it shimmers on the surface and reads about 350°F. (Or you can test the oil with a piece of cauliflower. Drop a small piece in. If it bubbles and stays at the surface, then you’re good to go.)

2. Line a baking sheet with a few layers of paper towels. Whisk the eggs in a large, shallow bowl.

3. Whisk the flour with the garlic powder, salt, black pepper and cayenne in another large, shallow bowl.

4. Working with a few pieces at a time, dip the cauliflower into the egg until it is well coated. Then dip the cauliflower into the flour mixture and toss well to coat. Repeat with the remaining cauliflower. Set the pieces aside.

5. Working in batches, fry the cauliflower until evenly golden browned, 6 to 9 minutes. Remove the cauliflower with a slotted spoon and drain on the prepared paper-towel-lined baking sheet.

6. Make the aioli: In a medium bowl, whisk the mayonnaise with the lemon juice, lemon zest and pepper to combine.

7. Garnish the finished cauliflower with parsley and serve immediately, hot, with the aioli on the side for dipping.

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