Cauliflower has seriously become one of my favourite vegetables. I have always loved it roasted, a la Bob Blumer’s cauliflower ‘popcorn’, but since trying to cut grains out of my regular diet cauliflower has become a substitute for most of the ‘white’ starches. Rice and potatoes are, for the most part, out (though when my garden taters are ready, they’ll be back on the menu for sure). Cauliflower is most definitely in.
The first time I made cauliflower mash it was ok. Not fabulous, but ok. However, after some research and a few trials I have landed on a sure fire recipe that pleases everybody – even Nolan who is a mashed potato fiend thought it was pretty good. Frankly I’d eat this any day in place of mashed potatoes (though I still love a crispy roasted potato with tzatziki).
Part of the appeal of substituting cauliflower for potato or rice is the reduction in overall carbohydrates. But for me, the added appeal is the taste. I like potatoes just fine, and rice just as well, but the thing about using cauliflower is that there is not only more cruciferous nutrients but it also tastes fabulous.
Though making mashed cauliflower is not a new idea Steve insisted that I post this recipe for his colleague and boss Brent, who asked him last week if he knew that you could make ‘mashed potatoes’ from cauliflower. Smarty-pants Steve replied that of course he knew you could, because I do it regularly.
Now, from what I understand Brent isn’t much of a garlic eater and to be honest the garlic IMO is what makes this recipe. It brings flavour beyond compare and it adds to the overall nutrients in the dish too. I’m sure it could be made with just the butter and the vegetable bullion, but honestly, I can’t imagine that it would be quite as delicious.
Begin by steaming your cauliflower, either in an old fashioned steamer basket like I have, or in a vegetable steamer. Yes, that is a wine cork in the handle of my steamer. It’s an ingenious trick that I saw somewhere for creating a heat proof handle on this inexpensive gadget.
While the veg is steaming, place a small pan over medium heat and melt some butter. Reduce heat to low and add garlic. Don’t chop your garlic too small or it is likely to burn. Burned garlic is bitter.
Once tender, the cauliflower (without it’s steaming liquid) is put into the Vitamix (or regular blender or food processor) and pulsed until nearly pureed. We aren’t looking for soup here but it needs to be pretty smooth. Add the garlic and butter along with a good quality vegetable bullion cube that has been dissolved in just a few tablespoons of your steaming water. Don’t add too much liquid or you’ll be back to soup.
Taste and add salt if needed.
Serve this yummy mash just like you would mashed potatoes. Chives and a little truffle butter made this a perfect sidekick to barbecued meats. For Father’s Day it was lamb – Steve’s favourite!
- 1/2 - 1 head cauliflower
- 6-8 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 1 organic vegetable bullion cube
- Salt to taste
- Truffle butter
- Cut cauliflower into uniform sized florets. The size does not matter but uniformity does. Smaller ones will cook faster, larger ones take a bit more time
- Place florets into a steamer basket. Place steamer basket over about 1/2" water and place on a stove burner over high heat until water boils. Cover, and steam until tender when poked with a fork, about 8-10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a small saucepan or frying pan melt butter over medium heat.
- Reduce heat to low and add chopped garlic
- Fry gently over low heat until soft and fragrant, about 7-10 minutes. It is important that the garlic does not burn but does soften, so reduce or remove from heat if it begins to brown.
- Once cauliflower is tender remove steamer basket from pot. Reserve steaming liquid
- Crush bullion cube into a custard or other small bowl.
- Add a few tablespoons of the steaming water to the bullion and stir until dissolved.
- Place cauliflower into a blender or food processor
- Add garlic and butter and bullion and pulse until smooth
- Taste and add salt if needed
- Serve with chives and truffle butter if desired