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Cauliflower Tempura with Harissa-Cauliflower Puree and Mint-GARLIC Scape Pesto

Serves 4


    Cauliflower Tempura with Harissa-Cauliflower Puree and Mint-GARLIC Scape Pesto

    This healthy baked tempura will be sure to jazz up any dinner party! Garlic scapes are similar to asparagus in texture but pack a distinct garlic taste that’s slightly milder than the bulbs. They’re great pickled, on the grill, or turned into this wonderful pesto. Chives (especially garlic chives) will also work if you’re not able to get garlic scapes.


    Cauliflower Tempura with Harissa-Cauliflower Puree and Mint-GARLIC Scape Pesto


    • 8 to 10 fresh young garlic scapes
    • 2 Tbsp vegan Parmesan
    • 1/4 cup unsalted raw shelled pistachios
    • 1/4 cup fresh chopped basil
    • 1/4 cup fresh chopped mint
    • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
    Cauliflower puree
    • 1 medium-sized cauliflower, including stems and leaves
    • 1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
    • 3 whole garlic cloves, peeled
    • 2 cups unsweetened nondairy milk
    • 2 Tbsp harissa paste or dry seasoning
    • 1 bay leaf
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper (optional)
    Breaded tempura coating
    • 1/2 cup all-purpose or gluten-free flour
    • 6 Tbsp cold aquafaba (liquid from cooked or canned chickpeas)
    • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
    • 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra
    • Fresh mint, basil, and slices of radish for garnish (optional)


    Per serving:

    • calories544
    • protein15g
    • fat32g
    • carbs47g
      • sugar6g
      • fiber6g
    • sodium587mg



    1. Make the pesto: In food processor, combine garlic scapes, vegan Parmesan, pistachios, basil, and mint and pulse into a rustic, chunky paste. Slowly add olive oil and whirl in until blended. Season with pepper. Transfer to tightly covered container in refrigerator.
    2. Make the cauliflower puree: Trim stem and leaves from cauliflower and reserve. Cut cauliflower into bite-sized florets. Chop stem and leaves.
    3. In saucepan, heat olive oil and sauté garlic over medium heat until caramelized, about 2 minutes. Add chopped cauliflower stem and leaves and a few of the florets, reserving remaining florets for oven-baked cauliflower tempura and garnish. Continue to sauté until cauliflower has begun to soften. Add nondairy milk, harissa, and bay leaf; cover and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes, or until mixture is very soft. Remove bay leaf. Transfer mixture to blender and puree until very smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste if you wish. Set aside while making breaded tempura coating for remaining florets.
    4. Make the cauliflower tempura: Preheat oven to 425 F and line baking sheet with parchment paper. Using 3 separate bowls, place flour in one; aquafaba with a splash of water in another, whisking to blend; and breadcrumbs stirred with olive oil in the third. Thinly slice and reserve a couple of cauliflower florets for garnish. Dust each remaining cauliflower floret with flour, then dip in aquafaba wash and roll in breadcrumbs. Place in single layer on rack over parchment-lined baking sheet. Gently dab or lightly spray each floret with a little oil to lightly coat. You want your florets to air fry for crispness. If you have a convection oven or an actual air fryer, follow cooking directions specific to them. Bake for 15 to 25 minutes, or until florets are golden and crispy. Timing will depend on how you are baking them.
    5. To serve, place a spoonful of mint-garlic scape pesto in center of plate. Drizzle a little cauliflower puree around dish. Place a few pieces of tempura on top and garnish with small mint and basil leaves and some radish and cauliflower slices if you wish. Repeat with 3 more plates.


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