Food & Drink

Hot, fried and . . . healthful?

Maria Siriano

You’ve probably heard of cauliflower as a stand-in for steak or rice by now, but what about chicken? In this recipe, roasted cauliflower florets are doused in Buffalo wing sauce and wrapped up in crunchy lettuce leaves for a vegetarian take on Buffalo wings.

After small cauliflower florets are roasted in until crisp, they’re tossed with the traditional hot sauce-butter mixture. Fill lettuce cups with the sauced cauliflower, top with creamy blue cheese crumbles and thinly sliced celery, and now you’ve got a fun appetizer or snack that hits all the right notes of crunchy, spicy, salty, sour and creamy.

Christine Gallary is a contributor to Email:

Buffalo Cauliflower Lettuce Wraps

1 small head cauliflower (about 2 pounds)

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 teaspoon fine salt

1/3 cup Frank’s Red Hot sauce

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

For the wraps:

8 small iceberg lettuce leaves (about 3 to 4 inches in diameter)

1 stalk celery, very thinly sliced crosswise

1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese

Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 450 degrees. Place a rimmed baking sheet in the oven while it is heating.

Core the cauliflower and cut it into small, 1-inch florets that don’t have any stem attached. Place the cauliflower in a medium bowl, drizzle with the oil, season with the salt, and toss to combine.

Remove the hot baking sheet from the oven, transfer the cauliflower onto the sheet, and spread into an even layer. Roast until browned in spots but still crisp-tender, stirring halfway through, about 12 minutes total. Meanwhile, whisk the hot sauce and butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat until warmed through (alternatively, heat it in the microwave). Remove the pan from the heat.

When the cauliflower is ready, transfer it to the saucepan and stir to coat in the sauce. Divide the cauliflower mixture over the lettuce leaves, and serve topped with the celery and blue cheese.

Yield: 4 servings.