Gracias Madre has now lasted the test of restaurant time, a trendy haunt for healthy, plant-based meals that has become a beloved West Hollywood establishment for almost a decade.
In their new cookbook, The Gracias Madre Cookbook: Bright, Plant-Based Recipes from our Mexi-Cali Kitchen, the team reveals all, including this recipe for their drool-worthy cauliflower “nachos” — complete with cashew cheese sauce!
Coliflor Frito (Cauliflower Nachos)
There’s nothing traditionally Mexican about these crispy bits of cauliflower that have been smothered in nacho cheese—in fact, like nachos, they’re a distinctly American invention—but no one’s going to turn down a plate of these bites or argue that there’s a better way to enjoy cauliflower.
For the cauliflower…
Canola, rice bran, or other neutral oil, for frying
5 cups cauliflower florets, cut into bite-size pieces
Himalayan salt, to taste
For the nacho cheese sauce…
1 cup raw cashews, soaked for 4 hours or up to overnight
2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 small garlic clove
½ to 1 whole jalapeño, seeded
2 tsp Himalayan salt, plus more to taste
1 ½ tsp chipotle powder
(Makes 3 cups)
1. In a Dutch oven, heavy-bottom pot, or high-sided frying pan over high heat, heat about 3 inches of oil to 350F.
2. Line a baking sheet with a few layers of paper towels and place nearby for draining.
3. Working in batches so as not to crowd the pot, fry the cauliflower until golden, for 2 to 3 minutes, flipping the florets occasionally to fry evenly.
4. Using a skimmer or slotted spoon, transfer the fried cauliflower to the baking sheet to drain and season immediately with salt. Repeat with the remaining cauliflower.
5. Drain and rinse the cashews under cold water until the water runs clear.
6. Transfer the cashews to a high-speed blender and add the pumpkin seeds, lemon juice, garlic, jalapeño, salt, chipotle powder, and 1 ¼ cups of water.
7. Blend until smooth and creamy. (The mixture will keep in the fridge, covered, for 3 to 4 days.)
8. In a medium bowl, add the friend cauliflower with the nacho cheese and toss to coat.
9. Transfer to a serving plate with the lemon wedges and a side of cheese sauce, if desired.