Please don’t let the title of this post fool you. I am head over heels in love with cauliflower. Who knew this boring, white, wart like looking veggie could be so versatile? Cauliflower has really blown up in the last couple years. Purple cauliflower? Might as well be the new kale. Have you seen how gorgeous that stuff is baked with some curry powder and turmeric? Simply irresistible.
With all that being said, I do believe cauliflower has some limitations. I am not convinced that it can be an adequate replacement for pizza crust. Rice? Yes. Pizza crust? Get outta’ here. I was on the fence about this whole cauliflower mash idea too, because I made a really crappy version once. Imagine little, tasteless cauliflower lumps. Gross. I recently had a revelation and the cauliflower gods spoke to me as I prepared what I humbly consider, the best cauliflower mash ever.
I went to visit my mom and brother after work last week and my mom told me she had a cauliflower mash recipe from Cooking Light that she wanted to try. I was weary based on my prior experience with cauliflower mash, but I decided I’d keep an open mind. As I read the recipe, I immediately noticed it said to peel the potatoes. At that moment, I decided to go rogue. I love mashed potatoes with the peel, because I enjoy the texture and the peel has nutritional benefits. Plus, Kevin wasn’t there (peel hater), so the peel was staying on and I was creating my own recipe.
Things that make this cauliflower mash delicious:
- It uses 3 golden creamer potatoes. I’m sorry to offend you cauliflower purists, but I think this little addition does wonders for the consistency. If you haven’t made mashed potatoes with only golden creamer potatoes, do so now (or maybe after you try this recipe first). The creaminess is life changing.
- Cook the cauliflower and potatoes in broth and water mixture. This adds great flavor to a rather bland vegetable.
- Reserve some of the cooking liquid to add back into the mash. This is one of the best tricks I ever learned for mashed potatoes and also works great here. The starch in the liquid helps bind everything together and adds flavor.
- Puree in a food processor or high powered blender. No exceptions. I would never do this with pure mashed potatoes, because it makes them gummy. Luckily, it creates a smooth, velvety texture with cauliflower.
- Add some fat. We are taking away most of the carbs in this recipe, so we need some fat to make this palatable. I went with a trusted trio: whipped cream cheese, parmesan cheese and butter.
Now, remember when I posted a few weeks ago about my lack of patience for food photography and inability to measure food when I cook? I genuinely tried here, because I care that much about this recipe. However, I don’t think my “I’m only doing one take “photos really do this justice. Also, please know that all of these measurements are estimates. I tried to use a tablespoon and got frustrated, so I used my finger to get the cream cheese out. Clearly, I’m all about that food safety. Germs make us stronger right?
Really Good Cauliflower Mash Recipe
- 1 small head cauliflower, chopped (use the ends and everything, no food waste here!)
- 3 small, golden creamer potatoes
- About 2-3 cups chicken or veggie broth
- 3-ish tablespoons whipped cream cheese
- 3-ish tablespoons of grated parmesan cheese
- 1 pat of butter
- Loads of garlic- about 4-5 cloves (We like it strong, so definitely decrease it if you don’t enjoy the garlic in your nose feeling.)
- Salt and pepper
- Dried or fresh parsley
- ¼ cup of cooking liquid, reserved
- Put the cauliflower and potatoes in a pot. Add the broth then add water until it covers the veggies. Toss in some salt for extra flavor.
- Bring to a boil and reduce to medium heat. Cook until cauliflower and potatoes are fork tender.
- Reserve ¼ cup of the cooking liquid then drain the veggies.
- Add the veggies to the food processor with the garlic, whipped cream cheese, parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, parsley and reserved cooking liquid. I added this little by little to make sure it didn’t get too liquidy. Puree until velvety smooth.
- Add mixture back to the pot on low heat and add in the pat of butter. Let cook for 5 more minutes, stirring frequently. Adjust the seasonings, pat yourself on the back and enjoy!
I almost forgot, go Pats!