I used to think I hated buffalo sauce. I thought it smelled funky and had an unnatural orange hue. Plus it always reminded me of the one time I ate at Hooters on my 22nd birthday with my parents, my best friend Amy, and her parents. My dad brought us there because the first two restaurants we tried to get into had a long wait and we had tickets to a show. Before we went in, my mom started joking that he goes to Hooters a lot so it's his favorite restaurant.
When we walked in the door, every single waitress in that place knew my dad's name and came up to him to say hi. I was beyond embarrassed and super pissed. Then the manager came over to shake my dad's hand. Dad kept encouraging me to eat the buffalo wings but I pouted and complained that they smelled like diapers. I acted like a total snot.
I didn't find out until we got home that night that it was all a joke...dad had gone into the restaurant first and asked the staff to play along so he could trick my mom. It backfired - she thought it was funny and I was the one who got mad!
I've since gotten over my distaste for buffalo sauce. In fact, Frank's Red Hot rules. But I still don't like chicken wings - too many bones for me. So this post on Serious Eats sounded brilliant - substitute cauliflower for the wings! I roasted some up right away and tossed it all in a melted butter and Frank's mixture.
The dressing was from Ellie Krieger - I used a fancy blue cheese (again found in the odds 'n ends bin at Kowalski's) and eyeballed the rest of the ingredients, heavy on the yogurt.
I added tomatoes, carrots, avocado, and lots of celery on a bed of spinach and this salad ended up being a great combination of spicy, creamy, tangy, and crunchy.
Buffalo Cauliflower Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
olive oil, salt, and pepper
2 Tbsp Frank's Red Hot Sauce (or other hot sauce) - or less to taste
1 Tbsp melted butter
greens - such as lettuce or spinach
veggies - carrots, celery, tomatoes, avocado
1/4 cup blue cheese, crumbled
2 Tbsp greek yogurt
2 Tbsp buttermilk
1 Tbsp mayonnaise
1 tsp white wine vinegar
pinch of sugar
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Toss cauliflower florets with olive oil, salt, and pepper and roast until charred all over. Toss immediately with hot sauce/butter mixture.
Layer cauliflower and veggies on top of greens.
Mix all the dressing ingredients together with a fork. Drizzle on top of your salad.
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