If you follow this blog you’ll know that cauliflower is a beloved veggie for this mum. I love the texture when its cooked. I love the texture when its raw. I love the flavor. I love that the florets look like little albino trees. I’m a nut. I know this. I love how cauliflower can be such a blank canvas. Quite frankly the only thing I don’t like about cauliflower is when you have to cut it up. The little shards are about as irritating as packing peanuts.
Alas I digress. Last month I experimented with faux alfredo sauce, and today I experimented with faux mashed potatoes. Alright no one revolt. Please hear me out. Nothing will take the place of good mashed potatoes for this midwestern girl. This is a nice recipe, however, when you need something that reminds you of mashed potatoes in texture lusciousness, but doesn’t contain copious amounts of starch, butter or cream.
I found this recipe idea on the Whole Foods website but altered it a good deal. Surprise, surprise. I added one russet potato to ease the family into it but it was delish. The key to this dish, like with the faux alfredo sauce, was cheese. You could get away with lots of different cheese options here but I had a brick of parmesan on hand, so I used that.
The instructions are very simple. Add one head of roughly chopped cauliflower to a large pot of salted water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cover until tender. Reserve a half cup of cooking water and drain the rest. In the bowl of a food processor, pulse and blend the cauliflower. While pulsing, add a teaspoon of reserved cooking liquid (at a time) until you reach your desired texture. I got mine too thin so be cautious. Next add a tablespoon of parsley and a tablespoon of butter or olive oil. Pulse a couple more times until incorporated. Fold in a cup of grated parmesan cheese or cheese of your choice. Think of a happy melter with a milder flavor. This is not the time for blue cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste and you’re done. I told you that was simple!
Pair your cauliflower mash with fish, chicken, or another protein. Tonight the girls and I had it with pan seared, crusted tilapia and sautéed zucchini. It was simple, quick, and yummy. I wish I had had some fresh brussel sprouts on hand because I love mixing them with mashed potatoes. Its the perfect bite. We’ll try that next time. If you’re freaking out on the suggestion of sprouts trust me and Redeem the Brussel Sprouts. There is bacon involved so it’ll be alright.
Happy Cauliflowering Y’all!
Note: I know that for some of you dairy is not an option. If so, cook your cauliflower in chicken stock and leave out the cheese. Season well with salt, pepper and maybe a spice that you would normally use in your mashed potatoes. You’ll still have a nice, luscious puree fit to accompany any protein you choose.