There’s something about the zesty kick of buffalo sauce that can turn any dish into a crowd-pleaser. Hello, I’m Bradley Schwarzenbach, and today I’m excited to share with you a recipe that’s close to my heart and sure to be a hit at your table: Buffalo Broccoli Bites. As part of the team at Foodies of New England, I’ve had the joy of exploring the bold flavors that our region has to offer, and this dish is a vibrant celebration of those tastes.
Buffalo Broccoli Bites are my playful twist on classic buffalo wings, offering a vegetarian option that doesn’t skimp on flavor or satisfaction. The idea came to me during a family gathering where I noticed the vegetarians among us often had to skip the traditional game-day fare. I wanted to create something that would bring everyone together, regardless of their dietary preferences, without feeling like an afterthought.
Buffalo Broccoli Bites
- 1 large skillet
- 1 large bow
- 1 serving bowl
- 3-4 Large crowns of broccolli
- 1 teaspoon fresh garlic
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger
- 1 heaped tablespoon timari
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 3 cups Frank’s hot sauce
- 3/4 cups coconut oil
- 8 oz tahini
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 lemon
- 1 bunch fresh dill
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 3 cups water
- Separate/chop the broccoli into florets. Roughly chop dill, set aside.
- Heat large skillet with cooking oil. Add broccoli, ginger, garlic, and timari. Cover for 3-5 minutes to help steam the broccoli and keep things from sticking. Stir occasionally on medium heat.
- Combine the coconut milk, hot sauce, and coconut oil in blender. Set aside. Combine tahini, nutritional yeast, juice of lemon, dill, water and 2 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. pepper in a mixing bowl. Whisk until smooth. Set aside.
- Transfer Broccoli into large bowl. Toss with buffalo sauce, transfer to serving bowl. Serve immediately with tahini dipping sauce on side.
One alternative method to the traditional oven-baking is to use an air fryer. This fantastic kitchen gadget has been a game-changer for me, providing a way to achieve that desirable crispy texture with minimal oil. The air fryer circulates hot air around the broccoli bites, cooking them evenly and giving them a beautiful golden-brown exterior. Not only does this method cut down on fat, but it also reduces cooking time, allowing you to enjoy your Buffalo Broccoli Bites even faster.
For those who prefer not to fry at all, there’s the option of grilling the broccoli. This method infuses the bites with a subtle smokiness that complements the bold buffalo sauce. Simply toss the broccoli florets in a little oil and your favorite seasonings, then place them on a grill pan over medium heat. Turn them occasionally until they have nice char marks and are tender-crisp. After grilling, coat them in the buffalo sauce and serve. It’s a lighter alternative that doesn’t compromise on flavor.
Another method I hold dear is the stovetop. Sautéing the broccoli in a skillet until it’s crisped to your liking and then adding the buffalo sauce creates a quick and easy version of the bites. This method allows you to control the level of crispness and the amount of sauce, catering to personal preferences. It’s a straightforward approach that brings out the vibrant flavors of the dish.
Buffalo Broccoli Bites are a delightful twist on the classic flavors we’ve come to adore in buffalo wings, but with a wholesome, plant-based spin. The joy of cooking these bites lies in their ability to surprise and satisfy, offering a spicy kick that’s tempered by the earthy, comforting taste of broccoli.
One of the first tips I’d like to share is selecting the best broccoli for your bites. Opt for fresh, firm florets with a deep green color. They should feel heavy for their size, which indicates they’re packed with moisture and will roast up nicely. Before you begin, make sure to cut the florets into even pieces so they cook uniformly and offer a consistent bite.
Marinating the broccoli is a step that shouldn’t be skipped. This is where the flavor infuses into each floret, ensuring every bite is as tantalizing as the last. A mixture of hot sauce, a touch of oil, and perhaps some garlic powder and paprika can create a marinade that’s both fiery and fragrant. Allow the broccoli to sit in this flavorful bath for at least 15 minutes to soak up all the goodness.
When it comes to coating, a light, crispy batter can provide the perfect textural contrast to the tender broccoli. A combination of gluten-free flour and water, seasoned with a pinch of salt, can create a thin batter that clings to the florets without overpowering them. For those seeking an extra crunch, a roll in crushed gluten-free breadcrumbs or almond flour after dipping in the batter adds another layer of texture.
The Best Way to Serve Buffalo Broccoli Bites
Serving Buffalo Broccoli Bites is an opportunity to bring a playful twist to the table, offering a dish that’s both whimsical and satisfying. These bites are a delightful way to infuse a bit of excitement into your mealtime, especially for those who adore a hint of spice paired with the wholesome goodness of broccoli.
When presenting these bites, I like to think about the array of colors and textures that will make the dish pop. A vibrant platter is key—imagine the rich, bold hue of the buffalo sauce as it clings to the crispy edges of the broccoli, beckoning you to take a bite. To complement the heat, a cool, creamy dip such as a ranch or blue cheese dressing can be served on the side, offering a soothing contrast that dances on the palate.
For a more substantial meal, consider pairing the Buffalo Broccoli Bites with other finger foods that celebrate vegetables in all their glory. Think of crisp celery sticks, cucumber rounds, and carrot sticks, all of which provide a refreshing crunch and a neutral taste to balance the spiciness. These fresh accompaniments not only add variety but also encourage us to savor the natural flavors of the produce.
If you’re looking to create a heartier spread, these bites can be a standout addition to a wrap or a bowl filled with grains like quinoa or rice, perhaps drizzled with a light vinaigrette or a squeeze of lemon to brighten the dish. The versatility of Buffalo Broccoli Bites means they can easily adapt to different serving scenarios, whether as a standalone snack or as part of a larger feast.
Above all, the joy of serving these Buffalo Broccoli Bites lies in the shared experience they foster. There’s something inherently communal about dipping and nibbling on these morsels together, igniting conversation and laughter. It’s food that doesn’t take itself too seriously, yet leaves everyone feeling content and cared for.
FAQs about Buffalo Broccoli Bites Recipe
- How do I get my Buffalo Broccoli Bites to be crispy? The key to achieving that desirable crispiness lies in how you prepare the broccoli. Make sure the florets are thoroughly dried after washing to prevent steaming while baking. A light coating of oil, along with a high-temperature oven, will help to crisp up the edges. For an extra crunch, you might consider adding a sprinkle of breadcrumbs or almond flour to the coating mixture.
- What dipping sauces pair well with Buffalo Broccoli Bites? While the tangy and fiery buffalo sauce packs a punch, pairing these bites with a cooling dip can create a harmonious balance. Classic choices include ranch or blue cheese dressing. For a lighter option, a Greek yogurt-based dip with herbs or a cucumber tzatziki can be refreshing. Feel free to get creative and try out different dips to find your perfect match.
- Are Buffalo Broccoli Bites suitable for children? The spiciness of buffalo sauce might be a bit much for some children’s palates. However, you can easily adjust the heat level by reducing the amount of buffalo sauce or mixing it with a milder sauce. This way, you can cater to younger taste buds while still introducing them to new and exciting flavors.
- Can I prepare Buffalo Broccoli Bites ahead of time? Yes, you can prepare the broccoli florets in advance by coating them with the seasoning and arranging them on a baking sheet. Keep them refrigerated until you’re ready to bake. The sauce can also be prepared beforehand and warmed up when needed. However, for the best texture, it’s recommended to bake and sauce the bites just before serving to maintain their crispness.
- How should I store leftovers, and can they be reheated? If you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They can be reheated in the oven or an air fryer to bring back some of the crispiness. Microwaving is not recommended as it may make the bites soggy. Remember, they might not be as crispy as when freshly made, but they’ll still be delicious.
As we come to the close of our culinary exploration with these Buffalo Broccoli Bites, it’s clear that this dish is more than just a tasty snack—it’s a testament to the versatility and vibrancy of plant-based ingredients. At Foodies of New England, we’re always on the lookout for innovative ways to bring flavor and nutrition together, and this recipe is a shining example of that mission.
The Buffalo Broccoli Bites have shown us that with a few simple ingredients and a dash of creativity, we can transform the humble broccoli into a fiery, crowd-pleasing appetizer. The piquant buffalo sauce clings to each floret, infusing it with a heat that is both invigorating and comforting, while the crisp exterior provides a satisfying crunch that echoes the classic wings experience without the meat.