OVEN BAKED VEGETARIAN CAULIFLOWER TATER TOTS – CALL THEM CROQUETTES IF YOU PREFER

These oven baked vegetarian cauliflower tater tots are absolutely the best side dish for introducing cauliflower to children, for their fun shape, the melted cheese and the very light cauliflower aftertaste. Commonly called “croquettes” in Italy, these steamed and mushed cauliflower and potatoes, mixed with egg, parmesan, sea salt, pepper and crumble bread, shaped as tater tots (maybe a little bigger), filled with some small cubes of provolone or mozzarella or scamorza cheese, can became your family favorite healthy serving of the day.   The crunchy crust hides a soft inside, and melted cheese, truly hard to resist!

Oven baked cauliflower and potatoes tater tots

I learnt the recipe of this oven baked vegetarian cauliflower tater tots (croquettes) once again following Georgia website, and perusing the gorgeous pictures in her INSTAGRAM ACCOUNT…  I adjusted a bit the doses of the ingredients considering the average size of a cauliflower here in the US, to make sure using the whole thing just to prepare this recipe.

I already had all the ingredients at home so I tried to prepare the vegetarian tots and I tell you, we all loved them! They are so tasty and nice looking that they could absolutely be served as appetizer at a party or – in my opinion, considering the mix of veggies and cheese – they could be served as a meal themselves. But that is me. I could eat that much cauliflower!!!

Anyway, as for time for preparation, consider that cauliflower and potatoes takes about 30 minutes to steam in water (remember they have to be soft enough to be mushed simply by using a fork), and then about 10 minutes to shape the vegetarian tater tots (croquettes), and finally 25 minutes in the oven.. so indeed a little extra time and preparation but it will be totally worth it!

INGREDIENTS FOR ABOUT 12 VEGETARIAN CAULIFLOWER TATER TOTS

1 medium  sized cauliflower (1.4 lb.)

3 small potatoes or 2 medium ones

1 large egg

5 tbs parmesan

Sea salt and pepper to taste

4 tbs plain bread crumbs

Provolone or mozzarella or scamorza cheese

Plus the bread crumbs for breading

DIRECTIONS FOR OVEN BAKED VEGETARIAN CAULIFLOWER TATER TOTS

Wash the cauliflower and peel the potatoes. Cut in cubes and steam-cook for about 30 minutes or until they become soft.  In a big bowl, mush the cauliflower and potatoes with a fork, add salt and pepper to taste (just taste the mix, you will recognize when the salt/pepper are enough) and finally parmesan and egg. Mix very well.  Add then the bread crumbs and mix very well.

with a fork mush the steamed cauliflower and potatoes, add parmesan, bread crumbs, egg, sea salt and pepper

Form the vegetarian tater tots (croquettes) by using your hand as a mold, taking the time to hide inside small cubes of cheese. Bread the tater tots all around. Arrange the tater tots in an oven sheet lined with parchment, drizzle with olive oil, bake at 400 F (200 C) for about 20 minutes. To make it more colored, switch the oven to broil function the last three minutes of baking.

Shape the mix and hide inside some cheese cubes, bread and bake at 400 F for 20 minutes.

Let the vegetarian tater tots cool off a little and then serve still warm!!! YUM!!!

LEARNT IT, MADE IT, LOVED IT!

Oven baked cauliflower tater tots displayed

TIPS:

  • If you like the idea of mixing cauliflower with cheese but you want to skip the potatoes and save some time, try prepare these cauliflower au graten.
  • The quantity of bread crumbs I listed is approximative.   You will need enough to keep the mix together, but not too much to avoid the tater tots to become too dry.
  •  As for my favorite bread crumbs to use, it’s the “homemade”, but if you have the store bought, that is  all right. I like the very plain bread crumbs, but I assume that if you used a seasoned one, the result will be good.
  • About the cheese for the filling, Giorgia in her blog suggests to use Scamorza, an Italian cheese that is smoked and melts very well. I didn’t have Scamorza so I used mozzarella cheese and it turn out great. I guess you can use any cheese you prefer that melts easily.
  • When I prepared these vegetarian tater tots (croquettes), we got some left. I stored them in a plastic container and kept at room temperature. The following day they tasted still really good, they only had lost a bit their outside crunchiness.

I really hope you liked this recipe, I think Giorgia has always amazing new meal ideas, go check her website/Instagram out, and let me know if you agree with me. I feel a little ashamed at the comparison with her stunning food’s pictures.. but I guarantee my pics are not that good, but my food it’s absolutely an Italian Goodness 😊

As for myself, I truly hope you appreciate my effort to translate some Italian recipes in English and in the Imperial system… I love doing this!! Thank you all and have great weekend

MUCH LOVE,

SILVIA

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