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Crispy Cauliflower Tacos with Mango Salsa

Crispy Cauliflower Tacos with Mango Salsa from www.loveandoliveoil.com

Hello there, my new favorite taco. Also known as vegetarian fish tacos, if you’d rather. The crispy, white fleshed-cauliflower is a perfect replacement for the fish, when you can’t find fresh fish or don’t want to stink up your apartment or just don’t feel like seafood. Cauliflower takes surprisingly well to the same toppings that you’d normally find on a fish taco, namely, bright and tangy mango salsa, freshly shredded red cabbage, creamy avocado, and a drizzle of Mexican crema (or, if you can’t find crema, simply whisk a few tablespoons of milk into regular sour cream to thin it out. Think drizzle, not dollop).

Crispy Cauliflower Tacos with Mango Salsa from www.loveandoliveoil.com

We made these a few times until we settled on the final method. We tried baked and fried and buttered and oiled, but ultimately found that a quick pan-fry in some olive oil gave the nicest flavor and crunch to the cauliflower. Still, a handful of panko breadcrumbs thrown in for good measure doens’t hurt. It’s the perfect amount of savory crunch for a taco (because, let’s face it, a taco without some crunch is like an ice cream sundae without sprinkles, just not as exciting). You won’t even notice the lack of fish.

Crispy Cauliflower Tacos with Mango Salsa from www.loveandoliveoil.com

But, I’ll admit, what took these tacos over the top was the homemade tortillas. We’ve started making our own recently, both corn and flour, and it’s amazing how much flavor a good tortilla brings to the final dish versus what you can buy in the store. I’ll be posting the recipe for homemade flour tortillas soon, and believe me, it’s worth the (minimal) extra effort!

Crispy Cauliflower Tacos with Mango Salsa from www.loveandoliveoil.com

Crispy Cauliflower Tacos with Mango Salsa

Yield: 4 servings

Total Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:

For Mango Salsa:

  • 1 large mango, peeled, cored, and chopped into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/2 small red onion, finely diced (about 1/4 cup diced)
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tablespoon lime juice (from 1/2 lime)
  • 1/2 cup packed fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
  • salt and pepper, to taste

For Crispy Cauliflower:

  • 1/3 cup olive oil, divided
  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into small florets (about 6 cups)
  • 6 tablespoons panko breadcrumbs, divided
  • salt and pepper, to taste

For Tacos:

  • 8-10 small flour tortillas (homemade if possible)
  • 1 avocado, pitted
  • 1/2 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 cup finely shredded red cabbage (from about 1/4 medium head)
  • 1/2 cup mexican crema (or 1/2 cup sour cream mixed with 2 tablespoons milk)

Directions:

  • To prepare salsa, combine mango, red onion, jalapeño, garlic in a medium bowl. Toss with lime juice and fold in cilantro. Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside.
  • For cauliflower, heat half of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add half of cauliflower, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 7 minutes. Toss with half of panko and continue to cook until breadcrumbs are golden brown, about 3 minutes more. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer cauliflower to a bowl or platter to keep warm, and repeat with second half of cauliflower (cooking the cauliflower in two batches allows the cauliflower to get more brown and crispy).
  • To assemble tacos, coarsely mash avocado with a generous splash of lime juice. Spread a dollop of mashed avocado down the center of each tortilla. Top with a 1/4 cup of crispy cauliflower, a spoonful of mango salsa, a handful of shredded cabbage, and a drizzle of sour cream sauce. Serve warm.

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35 CommentsLeave a Comment →

  1. 1
    Posted On July 23, 2014 at 5:16 am

    Wow,  just wow! Love cauliflower and mango salsa and veggie tacos are the best. Your images and that GIF are awesome. Great plate, great tacos, pinned!

    Reply

  2. 2
    Posted On July 23, 2014 at 5:22 am

    Oh – brain twins! I posted a cauliflower fish taco with mango salsa the other day too, except mine had actual fish. I like yours better with all that crispy cauliflower deliciousness going on! These look fantastic – Pinned!

    Reply

  3. 3
    Marlene
    Posted On July 23, 2014 at 5:55 am

    It looks yummy, but could you also share the recipe of the homemade tortilla please? I have been looking for one for a long time.

    Reply

  4. 4
    Posted On July 23, 2014 at 6:25 am

    I never though of putting mango in taco but I am sure my mango tree this year will be happy. The fruity sweetness of mango with crispy spiced cauliflower? Yummo!

    Reply

  5. 5
    Posted On July 23, 2014 at 6:51 am

    loooove, this. This food is something that I should be eating to not was the effort I had in spin class this morning.

    Reply

  6. 6
    Posted On July 23, 2014 at 6:53 am

    Heee, he –  waste, I mean. ( Too tired from spin class to type well. Have a great day!

    Reply

  7. 7
    Posted On July 23, 2014 at 7:08 am

    Oh man! So many fun flavours in here!

    Reply

  8. 8
    Posted On July 23, 2014 at 8:43 am

    Ooohhh wow.  Love this.  Beautiful photography, beautiful recipe.  Pinned!  I want to make this.

    Reply

  9. 9
    Posted On July 23, 2014 at 8:56 am

    Ohhh YES to these! I love that last little GIF you have going on there, so good!

    Reply

  10. 10
    Posted On July 23, 2014 at 8:58 am

    These sound so perfect for a meatless meal option.

    Reply

  11. 11
    Posted On July 23, 2014 at 9:05 am

    This looks absolutely incredible!  What a fun way to put a vegetarian spin on tacos.

    Reply

  12. 12
    Posted On July 23, 2014 at 9:27 am

    Tacos! They make everything better, right??  These looks so fresh and delicious.

    Reply

  13. 13
    Posted On July 23, 2014 at 12:14 pm

    I’m not seafood person, so I’ll definitely have to give these tacos a try! Looking forward to that homemade tortilla recipe. :)

    Reply

  14. 14
    Posted On July 23, 2014 at 12:47 pm

    What a great idea!!! I love fish tacos but last time I made them my apartment stunk for days!

    Reply

  15. 15
    Posted On July 23, 2014 at 4:06 pm

    I have recently gone to  a paleo lifestyle and have been eating a LOT of cauliflower.  I used it in fried rice and tried the crusts too but haven’t tried this.  Great idea and I can’t wait to try them later this week!
    Thanks!

    Reply

  16. 16
    Posted On July 23, 2014 at 5:50 pm

    I love this idea! My kids LOVE cauliflower but are skeptical about fish – this is a perfect solution that everyone will love! Gorgeous, gorgeous pictures and colours too.

    Reply

  17. 17
    Posted On July 23, 2014 at 6:11 pm

    Yum! These look amazing. I’m loving your photography!

    Reply

  18. 18
    Posted On July 23, 2014 at 6:42 pm

    Love cauliflower crust! I was 1st introduced to it in my nutrition ed class; the cooking demonstrator used them in as a crust for a pizza recipe–so delish! Love the idea of also using them for tacos :)

    Reply

  19. 19
    Posted On July 23, 2014 at 9:13 pm

    Oh wow!!! This looks amazing! Beautiful pix, too :)

    Reply

  20. 20
    Posted On July 24, 2014 at 4:35 am

    Wow. I think I just found my new favorite taco too. Thanks for this.

    Reply

  21. 21
    Susan
    Posted On July 24, 2014 at 9:45 am

    Interesting concept for tacos, though I don’t think I could sell it to my husband.  I have to agree completely about the value of making your own tortillas.  I’ve been making my own whole wheat/mesquite tortillas for several years, now and they are to die for good.  Haven’t tried corn yet, but that’s my next project.  I am also fortunate to live in a place where one of the local groceries has a tortilleria that makes outstanding flour tortillas.  So I’ve got a back-up of I can’t make my own.  Time for me to get cooking and make some tortillas… although it’s not a great idea when the temps are in the triple digits!  Looking forward to seeing your tortilla recipe.

    Reply

  22. 22
    Posted On July 24, 2014 at 9:51 am

    Orginal combination of flavors which makes it great alternative for boring tacos. What do you think about changing mexican crema to low-fat Greek yogurt to save calories? According to http://happyforks.com/yogurt/greek/1162 it has only 59 kcal (100g).

    Reply

    • Posted On July 25, 2014 at 10:52 am

      Sure, you could definitely sub greek yogurt for the sour cream if you prefer!

  23. 23
    Posted On July 24, 2014 at 9:24 pm

    Cauliflower is the like, chameleon of the food world. SO versatile!

    Reply

  24. 24
    Posted On July 25, 2014 at 2:39 am

    the vegetarians in my household will definitely appreciate me making these tacos, thanks for the recipe. looks seriously delicious!

    Reply

  25. 25
    Posted On July 25, 2014 at 6:12 am

    These look so amazing. Definitely going to try

    Reply

  26. 26
    Posted On July 25, 2014 at 9:33 am

    at first I thought this meant you made cauliflower tortillas, but not that I see crisp cauli is IN the tacos?!  obsessed!!!!  we’re always changing cauli into something else, it’s nice to see it on it’s own for a change :)

    Reply

  27. 27
    Laura
    Posted On July 25, 2014 at 9:17 pm

    I love the serving tray.  Where did that come from?!

    Reply

  28. 28
    Posted On July 26, 2014 at 3:01 pm

    I am drooling for these!! So great seeing you this week!

    Reply

  29. 29
    Posted On July 26, 2014 at 10:59 pm

    Love this recipe so much! Shared it on reddit and I see I’m not the only one. Now to have it completely replace my love for fish tacos!

    Reply

  30. 30
    Posted On July 28, 2014 at 12:25 pm

    Love these tacos!! very clever!

    Reply

  31. 31
    Posted On July 30, 2014 at 7:25 am

    Oh man I have 4 enormous cauliflower plants in the garden that are begging me to make these tacos! Gorgeous!

    Reply

  32. 32
    Posted On July 30, 2014 at 9:03 pm

    i will never ever ever get tired of cauliflower! This sounds amazing.

    Reply

  33. 33
    Posted On August 1, 2014 at 9:31 am

    I’m going to need at least two of these stuffed beauties. So much yum!

    Reply

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