So… I made meatloaf the other night, and it’s hard to imagine eating it with anything other than mashed potatoes. That said, after Thanksgiving we’re a little over the bread and the potatoes and the sugar, etc. So instead of the potatoes I was cooking some cauliflower and thinking about the look on hubby’s face when I served the less than sexy side dish, and somehow the cauliflower wound up in the food processor with a little milk, a little butter, a little salt, a little pepper, a little garlic powder, and… we had something oh so close to the texture and flavor or mashed potatoes, but a little less likely to stretch the waistband.
Now, just as tofu doesn’t magically become steak when you marinade and grill it, cauliflower isn’t a potato once you mash it. You have to start with a taste for this particular vegetable. I love cauliflower. When cooked until it’s nice and soft, I find it very buttery and potato like in flavor already, so I was very happy. Hubby doesn’t particularly care for this cruciferous veg, but liked the mash a lot. Some leftovers linger in the fridge for days because no one really wants to be wasteful and throw them away, but no one really wants to eat them either. The leftover mash was gone in a day.
How much mash does this recipe make? Depends on your head of cauliflower. A typical large grocery store variety will make quite a lot. Enough to serve 4 super hungry people who want a Close Encounters mound on their plate. But it could easily serve six moderate eaters.
1 head of cauliflower, leaves removed, stem trimmed and cored
Milk, half and half, cream, soy milk, nut milk–whatever you like
Butter or margarine
Salt and Pepper
*I had garlic powder in the cupboard, but roasted garlic would be even better. If using roasted garlic, remember to roast it prior to starting the cauliflower. Take however many cloves (skin on) you want to use, trim the tips off the cloves, put them on a small piece of foil, drizzle with olive oil, wrap in a ball, bake at 350 degrees until the garlic is soft, about 45 minutes.
I typically steam cauliflower until a fork passes easily through the stem.
Add the hot cauliflower, 1/4 cup (60ml) of milk and 2 tablespoons (30ml) of butter, a few grinds of pepper and a few pinches of garlic powder to the bowl of a food processor and run the machine until the mixture is broken down to the texture you like. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more milk and butter if it needs it. You might not need salt. You can add other herbs and spices if you like.
Serve warm. The mash keeps well, much better than mashed potatoes which tend to lose their wonderful texture once refrigerated.