Baked Cauliflower Bites with Caper-Truffle Aioli

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This appetizer was the surprise hit of our Super Bowl spread. There are a lot of recipes out there using cauliflower as a healthy alternative and I wanted to give it a try. Using what I had on hand I came up with this recipe that keeps them lower in fat by baking instead of frying. I said lower in fat, not fat free – Let’s not get crazy! You could use low fat cheese and skip or adjust the aioli, but I thought it paired nicely with the cauliflower. And speaking of cauliflower; most people would never guess that it’s the main ingredient. This would also make a nice side dish and I could see it pairing nicely with fish. Here’s the recipe:

Baked Cauliflower Bites with Caper-Truffle Aioli

• 1 Head cauliflower, cleaned and broken into florets
• 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
• ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
• 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
• 2 eggs
• ¼ cup Italian flavored bread crumbs
• ¼ tsp oregano
• ¼ tsp garlic powder
• salt and pepper to taste

For the Aioli
• 1/3 cup mayonnaise
• 1 tablespoon lemon juice
• 1 tablespoon capers finely chopped
• 2-3 drops of truffle oil
• Salt and pepper to taste

Pre-heat oven to 375F. Prepare a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
Steam Cauliflower until tender (either on the stove top or in the microwave for about 8 minutes). Allow to cool and drain well.
Place steamed cauliflower in a food processor and pulse for just a few seconds or until the cauliflower resembles rice. Remove from food processor, and put into a large bowl.

Add eggs, all the cheese, herbs, spices and bread crumbs and mix well. Using an ice cream scoop, portion out the mixture onto your prepared sheet pan. Using your hand or a fork, flatten out the patties.

Bake for 15 minutes. Flip the patties over and continue baking for another 15 minutes or until the patties are golden brown and the middle is no longer soft. Let them cool slightly before serving.

For the Aioli: Whisk all the Aioli ingredients together until smooth.

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