Here’s my confession. I did not want to like cauliflower mash. In general, I am resolutely against pretend foods. You know, desserts concocted from artificial sweeteners, breads baked with mystical “no net carb” ingredients, Tofurky. If you are working to develop a taste for nutritious foods, the last thing you need is the lame taste of fake food in your mouth, reminding you of what you are giving up.
So I resisted cauliflower mash. Because I thought it was a fake food, pretending to be mashed potatoes. (And I have nothing against mashed potatoes, for those who can handle the carbs.)
Then I tasted a heavenly smudge of cauliflower mash at an upscale restaurant in San Jose. It was the snotty sort of eatery that taunts you with dribbles and drops of luscious sauce that never lasts through your entree. Beneath my tiny, artful piece of fish, was the thinnest layer of cauliflower. And it was delicious.
Back home I determined to replicate that heavenly mash. My early attempts were just too. Too wet, too runny, too cauliflowery.
But this recipe, born from a fair bit of tinkering, and the memory of that heavenly smudge, is sublime, like a poem on your tongue. Clearly not mashed potatoes, this cauliflower mash is no pretender, but its own lovely deliciousness. You should make some!
Let’s make cauliflower mash.
one head cauliflower, separated into florets
1/2 cup coarsely cut onion
1 clove garlic
1 chopped parsnip (about a cup) or 1 chopped carrot (about 1/2 a cup)
1/2 cup salted butter
1 egg yolk
Place veggies in steamer. I have this huge pot with a steamer insert, but you could use one of those collapsible steamer insert thingies, or the steam function on your Instapot.
Steam veggies until completely tender. Definitely check the carrots or parsnips to make sure they are soft.
Remove veggies from heat to drain and cool off a bit. I just prop my steamer insert up on the edge of my pot.
Remove veggies to a clean kitchen towel draped over a bowl.
Now put on some clean gloves (the veggies are hot), wrap the towel up tight and squeeze the heck out of your cooked veggies.
You will be amazed at how much water squishes out.
Empty your squeezed out veggies into a food processor fitted with the wicked sharp blade.
Blend until totally smooth. Do not settle for sort of lumpy.
Whirl an egg yolk into the mash. If you are worried about undercooked eggs, just leave it out. This is the least important ingredient.
Add butter. In this version I melted the butter. On other occasions I have used clarified butter to accommodate the lactose averse. The last few times I didn’t bother with melting at all, just threw the whole chunk in. Whirl until butter is totally incorporated. If you use unsalted, you will need to add salt to taste. But Kerrygold salted works perfectly.
Revel in the glory you have just created.
Serve as a side dish.
Or under a meaty, gravy thing.
Or in a bowl with an extra little pat of butter as a decadent snack.
Or use it to top shepherd’s pie.
This recipe doubles easily. Just squeeze the veggies in two batches. We always make double now because we eat it up so, so fast.
Here’s a printable version. Cauliflower Mash
Really, you should make this. It’s wonderful.
Wishing you great success as you gently improve your health.