Tater tots, mini bites of grated and deep fried potatoes, are a convenience food that make a tasty and fast side dish. A healthier version may be made with “cauli-rice” … cauliflower florettes briefly pulsed in a food processor. The recipe below is a simplified adaptation of the various techniques and ingredients found on line. Though I DID add a ‘variation’ that seemed more extravagant. I haven’t tried it yet. Mainly because I didn’t have either the bacon or the peppers on hand. However, I have two packages of raw cauli-rice in the freezer. Maybe I’ll make them for Christmas. Or New Years.
Baked Cauliflower Tots
Baked Cauliflower Tots – makes 10-12 ‘tots’, 4-6 per serving
2 cups/250 gm ‘riced’ cauliflower florettes*
1 large egg
1/2 tsp dried parsley
1/4 cup raw onion, finely minced or 2 tbsp crispy fried onions
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup fine breadcrumbs, plain or Italian seasoned
salt and pepper to taste
cooking spray or vegetable oil
*Break down a whole head of cauliflower into florettes. In a food processor, 1/4 of a head at a time, briefly pulse the florettes until they’ve broken down into roughly rice kernel sized.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Place the riced cauliflower into a microwave safe bowl, with lid, and cook 1-2 minutes on high. Let cool enough to handle. Place the cooled cauli-rice into a fine weave tea towel and squeeze out the excess water. (NOTE: I managed to extract about 3 tbsp of liquid out of this batch.)
Spray a nonstick cookie sheet with cooking spray or brush lightly with vegetable oil. Set aside.
In a medium sized bowl, combine all of the ingredients and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Spoon about 2 tbsp of the mixture in your hands and roll into small oval shaped tots.
Place on the cookie sheet 1/2 inch apart and bake for about 20 minutes. Turn and bake for another 10-15 minutes. Both sides should be nicely browned and firm but still retain some bounce.
Remove and serve as a side dish. Or, as an appetizer, serve with ketchup, pesto, hummus or your preferred dipping sauce.
For an even more decadent appetizer, stir in the items below.
Twice Baked Potato Variation: 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese, 1/4 cup finely minced bell pepper and 1/4 cup finely chopped crispy bacon