Barbecuing is a big part of Lag B’Omer observances in the U.S. and in Israel, so let’s grill up some Spicy Cauliflower Flatbreads for the holiday, which this year runs from sunset Wednesday, May 22 to the following evening. A relatively minor Jewish holiday, Lag B’Omer falls on the 33rd day of the Omer, the 49-day counting period between Passover and Shavuot, and as a break from that somewhat serious stretch, it has become a big party day marked by barbecues and picnics.
For this recipe, flatbreads (such as naan) are grilled and then topped with spinach, a spicy “bison sauce” (my take on a traditional buffalo sauce), cauliflower nuggets, feta cheese and ranch dressing. The toppings can be prepared in advance, leaving only the grilling and assembly for just before serving. Serve sliced as an appetizer or whole as an entree.
Use naan or other packaged flatbreads, available in many supermarkets. Defrost if frozen. As an alternative, you can top your grilled naan bread with with tomato or pesto sauce, sprinkle with grated cheese then reheat as directed below.
Spicy Cauliflower Flatbreads
Makes 2 flatbreads
- 1 Tbs. olive oil
- 8 cups baby spinach
- ¼ tsp. salt, or to taste
- ¼ tsp. pepper, or to taste
Cauliflower and bison sauce:
- 3 cups cauliflower florets
- 1 Tbs. unsalted butter
- 1 Tbs. olive oil
- 1 Tbs. minced garlic
- ¼ tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. paprika
- ¼ cup hot sauce (see notes)
- 2 Tbs. of water (or as needed)
Grilling and topping:
- Vegetable oil or spray
- Olive oil
- 2 plain naan or other flatbreads (see notes)
- ¾ cup crumbled feta cheese
- ¼ cup ranch dressing, or to taste
- Hot sauce, to taste, if desired
Spinach: Heat 1 Tbs. olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add spinach and sauté until wilted. Season with salt and pepper and finish cooking. Drain in strainer, pressing with spoon to remove liquid. Once the spinach is as dry as possible, chop. Set aside.
Cauliflower and sauce: Break cauliflower in ½-inch to 1-inch clusters. Steam until just beginning to soften. Drain well. Set aside. Melt butter with 1 Tbs. olive oil in large skillet over medium-low heat. Add garlic. Sauté until golden. Reduce heat to low and add ¼ tsp. salt, ¼ tsp. paprika and ¼ cup hot sauce. Sauté for 1 minute, stir in cauliflower. Raise heat to medium-high and add 2 Tbs. of water. Cook, stirring often, until pan is virtually dry, and cauliflower is thoroughly coated and cooked through but not mushy. Repeat with another 2 Tbs. of water as needed. Set aside.
Grilling and assembly: If toppings were refrigerated, bring to room temperature. Brush vegetable oil on cold grill. Heat grill or panini press or similar electric grill to medium-high. Brush both sides of naan with olive oil. On grill, flip when bottom is brown and toasted. If using a panini press or other electric grill, place breads one at a time on bottom grill and cover with top grill plate. Cook until heated through and toasted. (Or heat on baking sheet under broiler, flipping as needed). Remove from grill. Immediately scatter spinach on top of each naan and then cauliflower nuggets. Scatter half the feta over each bread, then drizzle each with half the ranch dressing. If desired, sprinkle very lightly with additional hot sauce. Return to grill or broiler 3-5 minutes to heat topping. Do not use top grill plate if using panini press. Watch carefully when using broiler, since timing will vary. (Use two spatulas to support the assembled flatbread when moving it to and from grill.) Serve immediately. For an appetizer, cut each flatbread into six pieces.
Notes: Use a bottled red pepper-based hot sauce that includes vinegar in the ingredients. For less spice, reduce hot sauce from ¼ cup to 2 Tbs. and combine with 1 Tbs. vinegar and 1 Tbs. water. Flatbreads should be roughly 6½-by-7½ inches and weigh about 3 oz. each.