Puréed Cauliflower – The Mashed Potato Substitute

Need an AMAZING substitute for mashed potatoes? Look no further. I am quite serious about this… puréed cauliflower has changed the face of dinner in our house. If you like cauliflower and cook it up the usual ways; sautéed on the stove, broiled in the oven or boiled (shudder), then this dish will surely change the vegetable as you know it. If however, you think you dislike cauliflower, here’s your solution!

Recently a friend was over for dinner and being polite (because he is the king of polite) he heaped a spoonful of cauliflower on his plate even though he had just admitted that it was far from the top of his favorite veggie list. By the end of the meal, he had been converted. We have decided to incorporate this new favorite into our Thanksgiving meal. Who needs mashed potatoes when you have creamy, delicious, puréed cauliflower to plop juicy turkey atop?

If you search for other puréed cauliflower recipes you will find they are laden with milk, cream or loads of butter. I say you just simply don’t need those heavy ingredients. The oil olive gives the vegetable enough wetness to blend easily in the food processor while adding a deep richness. Salt and pepper do the usual uplift to the dish, but the garlic powder (you can use roasted garlic if you have the patience to go through the steps) really pushes this mash from good to ‘oh boy oh boy’ so good. So, this turkey day, try something new and watch your guests delightfully declare that they DO like cauliflower after all.

Makes 4 servings

1 head cauliflower, stem trimmed of leaves, florets roughly chopped
2-4 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt and pepper 

Place cauliflower in a steamer basket in large pot filled with 1-2 inches water. Water should not come higher than the bottom of the steamer. Cover pot with lid and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook until cauliflower is very tender, about 15-20 minutes. Transfer cauliflower to a food processor or blender using a slotted spoon. Add salt, pepper, garlic powder and a few tablespoons of the olive oil and blend until smooth, about 20 to 30 seconds. Add more oil as needed, and blend 5 to 10 seconds more. Season with more salt, pepper and garlic to taste. Serve hot.

Enjoy tricking the kids into eating their vegetables (or adults for that matter)!


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