Sweet & spicy oven baked cauliflower wings served in crisp boston lettuce cups with a homemade beet tahini dip. This is the perfect dish for a light and refreshing meal to enjoy as an appetizer or a light lunch.
We love how versatile cauliflower is and enjoy it most served as wings. The subtleness of the beet tahini adds a nice earthy balance to the spiciness of the wings and a touch of colour to the dish! Alternatively, you could serve this with your favourite store bought hummus or dip for a quicker meal.
The great thing about cauliflower wings is that they can easily be meal prepped for lunches as they tend to reheat fairly well. Turn them into a meal by serving them overtop a leafy salad, even over rice with some shredded carrots, edamame, radishes, and garnish with microgreens as a healthy plant-based power bowl.
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Preheat the oven to 425F degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly spray with cooking oil.
To make the beet tahini, bring a small pot of water to a boil just enough to cover your beets. This should only take a few minutes. Once the water is boiling add your beets and bring to a simmer. Cook until soft when pierced about 30 minutes. Remove and let cool slightly for a few minutes.
While the beets are cooking you can begin to prep the cauliflower wings. Start by washing and patting dry the cauliflower head before cutting into bite sized florets.
For the dredging: In a shallow bowl, combine the milk, flour and cornstarch. The mixture should resemble a thick batter. In a separate shallow bowl combine breadcrumbs, spices and salt and and pepper.
Individually dip the florets into the wet mixture using a fork lightly coating to ensure no excess liquid and transfer into the panko mixture to coat evenly. Place each piece onto your baking sheet leaving a bit of space in-between in a single layer. Repeat this step until all of your cauliflower is coated. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the cauliflower turns golden.
In the meantime, combine all the ingredients to make the sauce. and set aside. Taste and adjust if needed.
At this point your beets should be ready and cooled slightly. Peel the skins off (it should come off fairly easily) and cut into quarters.
Place the beets, garlic, and olive oil into a food processor and pulse. You can also use a blender if you prefer. Add the remaining ingredients into the food processor and blend until smooth. Set aside. Add more maple syrup and a bit of water for a creamier sauce if needed.
Once the cauliflower is nice and golden, remove from the oven and place into a large mixing bowl. Pour the sauce overtop and toss to evenly coat. Return to the baking sheet and cook for an additional 5-10 minutes until crispy. Let the cauliflower cool for a few minutes.
Serve this family style by placing cauliflower onto a serving dish, garnish with peanuts, cucumber, scallions, cilantro, sesame seeds and with a side of lemon. Tower your lettuce facing down to ease staking and serve with the beet tahini on the side. Alternatively you can prepare each lettuce cup individually by adding a few pieces of cauliflower, your garnishes and topped with some sauce. Either option works fine.
Szechuan Cauliflower Lettuce Wraps with Beet Tahini