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Pesto Cauliflower Bites

Cauliflower Bites

To be honest, I wasn’t sure how well this combination would go together, but it took me by surprise. The nuttiness of the pesto really enhanced the roasted cauliflower, and both flavors blended perfectly with the potato puff. Add the juicy tomato and some lemon-garlicky deliciousness, and you have a winner!

YIELDS ABOUT 48 MINI SKEWERS

• 2 24-oz (680-g) bags frozen cauliflower florets, defrosted and drained
• 2 Tbsp oil
• 3 Tbsp store-bought or homemade basil pine-nut pesto
• lemon pepper seasoning and salt, to taste
• 48 frozen potato puffs, also known as tater tots (about ½ of a 32-oz/910-g bag), or mini frozen potato latkes
• cooking spray
• chili powder, for sprinkling
• 48 grape tomatoes
• oil, for drizzling
• salt and pepper, to taste

LEMON-GARLIC DIPPING SAUCE

• 1 cup light mayonnaise
• ¼ cup honey
• ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
• 1 tsp lemon zest
• 3 cloves garlic, minced
• ½ tsp salt
• ¼ tsp pepper

Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).

In a large bowl, toss cauliflower florets with oil, pesto, lemon pepper seasoning, and salt. Spread onto two large baking sheets. Try to keep the florets from touching one another.

Place potato puffs into a 9x13-inch (20x30-cm) baking pan and spray lightly with cooking
spray. Sprinkle with chili powder and place in oven together with cauliflower. Bake for 25–30 minutes, or until lightly browned. Flip pieces over midway through the baking to ensure even browning. Toss tomatoes with oil, salt, and pepper and place in an additional baking pan, adding to the oven for the last 10 minutes of baking time.

While everything is roasting, whisk all dipping sauce ingredients together until well blended. Set aside. To assemble: Allow the vegetables and potato puffs to cool slightly, then assemble on individual 5-inch (12½-cm) skewers or toothpicks by threading first a tomato, then a potato puff, and finally a cauliflower floret.

Serve with lemon-garlic dipping sauce.

(Originally featured in Family Table, Issue 718)

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