Drunken Cauliflower Tacos with Quick Pickled Red Onions
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Beer-simmered vegan cauliflower tacos topped with zingy quick pickled red onions are the perfect camping food for hanging out with friends!
We’ve been traveling across the American Southwest for over a month now – how have we not posted a taco recipe yet! For shame! Coming from Los Angeles, tacos hold a very special place in our hearts and we’d fully endorse them as their own food group. In fact, the very first camp cooking recipe we did on this blog was a vegan taco (which remains our most popular recipe to date). So today we’re ending this taco drought and present you with these cauliflower tacos topped with quick pickled red onions!
The recipe calls for chopped cauliflower to be simmered in beer and spices until the liquid evaporates, then pan fried with a splash of oil. This two-phased cooking method allows you to cook the cauliflower quickly, while still getting that delicious pan-fried crunch at the end. While all that’s being prepared, sliced red onions are soaked in a bowl of lime juice to give them a zesty pop (and take off the raw edge). When these two elements are combined together in the middle of a corn tortilla, they pack a flavorful one-two punch!
We made this recipe in our favorite-place-in-the-whole-wide-world Borrego Springs over the long President’s Day weekend. Our friends Brandt & Monika made the drive out from LA to camp with us in their soon-to-be-complete 4×4 Sprinter. Eerily astute followers of this blog might remember that we met up with these two in Cannon Beach, OR and again in Bellingham, WA during our first six months on the road. More proof that friends that travel (well) together, stay together.
When casually hanging out around a campsite, we can think of few things more perfectly suited for the occasion than tacos and beer. Now, we’d love to hear your thoughts on this, but we’re of the opinion that you can either have a fancy beer and simple tacos or simple beer and fancy tacos, not both. To us, fancy beer and fancy tacos undermine the whole “of the people” nature of tacos that makes them so casually accessible and unpretentiously fun. So since cauliflower tacos are a little outside the box, we opted for Modelo (or as Brandt called them, “pounders”).
So next time you’re car camping (a head of cauliflower isn’t exactly backpacking-friendly), give this recipe a try. Grab some friends, get some cold beer, and pull up a seat; it’s taco time.
- 1 head cauliflower, chopped into small bite sized florets
- ½ cup lager, (or use broth to make these gluten free)
- 2 tablespoons cumin
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 6 corn tortillas
Quick Pickled Onions
- 1 small red onion, sliced into ¼ inch thick half moons
- 2 or 3 limes, juiced (to yield about ¼ juice)
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- Hot sauce
- PREPARE THE QUICK PICKLED ONIONS: Place the onions, lime juice, and salt in a small bowl. Let them sit for 15-20 minutes, tossing every 5 minutes or so.
- COOK THE CAULIFLOWER: Add the cauliflower into a skillet with the beer, cumin, dried oregano, salt, cayenne, and garlic. Bring to a rapid simmer. Simmer, stirring frequently, until all the liquid has evaporated. Once the liquid has evaporated, add the olive oil and pan fry until the cauliflower is tender and beginning brown in places.
- WARM THE TORTILLAS: While the cauliflower is cooking, warm the tortillas. We do this on our stove burner one tortilla at a time, flipping after 15 or 20 seconds so both sides get toasty. This could also be done over a campfire, or if you’re at home, in an oven or microwave.
- ASSEMBLE THE TACOS: Fill each tortilla with a scoop of cauliflower, pickled red onions, and any additional toppings (avocado, cilantro, hot sauce if you like things spicy!).
Measuring cups & spoons
Wooden spoon Inspired by the Thug Kitchen Cookbook
Nutrition (Per Serving)
Cauliflower cooked in beer? Sign me up 😉 Also I bet my boyfriend would love these, thanks for the inspiration!! 😀
Ha, can’t be tooo healthy – they’re still tacos, right?!
Ha…tacos can still be healthy
Wow, these looks great. What a unique recipe! Love it.
I loved your tofu breakfast tacos/burritos, so I’m sure these are going to be equally delicious! Definitely going to put these on the menu! 😀
Never thought to cook cauliflower in beer, but it’s pretty genius! Going to try it for sure!
As a Souther California girl, I am completely on board with making tacos a food group! Your cauliflower tacos sound amazing and I look forward to making them soon!
I’m currently living in the SFV…do you have any taco places I need to check out? My current fave is Tacos Manzanos in North Hollywood…their carnitas are amazing.
This sounds AMAZING. We eat cauliflower all the time but never thought to make them the taco filling! Yum! This will be perfect cooking outside our Airstream. Thanks!
This recipe looks wonderful. Have to try this. . Nothing like a delicious meal of tacos after a long day of pulling down.
we made these at home. delicious. the pickled onions are so tasty. thanks for the recipe
I just made this and it was delicious! The pickled onions really made the tacos come alive. The only thing I’d change is the salt in the cauliflower, it seemed too salty to me. I could not believe this recipe actually needed two whole tablespoons of cumin, so I only used a little more than one tablespoon and the taste was still there. This was packed with flavor and my mouth didn’t know how to handle it. Thanks for a great recipe! I’m going to make this all the time now!
Thanks for the feedback, Alison! Glad you enjoyed it 🙂
My husband and I were interested in your camping table out of the rear of your car did you make or buy? We also love to camp in borrego thx
We made the table. Home Depot sells the legs (comes in a set of two – we only used one) and then the top is just made of wide planks fastened together using 1.5″ x 3/4 wood on the bottom.
We’ve made these a number of times and each time they were delicious!! Today we subbed red cabbage for red onion and it was divine!
Oo, I like the idea of using red cabbage! Did you pickle it in the lime juice, too, or just add it in raw?
For some reason it won’t give me a fifth star to give it a 5 star rating! But wow!!! Looked up cauliflower as an ingredient since that’s what I had, found this and …. insanely delicious!!!! Used the beer, added jalapeño and some cheese. That was the BEST way to do the onions!!! Didn’t have just oregano so I used an Italian blend!
I love the way I can search by ingredient, thanks for the great new recipe!
Don’t know what happened to my detailed comment about a week ago, it’s not here! But in short, these were excellent!
I literally never leave reviews but these are the best tacos I’ve ever made at home in my entire life. I paired them with a corona & lime. I also put truffle hot sauce on top and WOW. 10/10. 5/5. 100 gold stars. A+. This isn’t a joke. Make these tacos.