Cauliflower is a favorite vegetable in my family, especially roasted to a crispy brown in a hot oven. This week’s recipe deviates from the family norm due to medical reasons. No worries! Nothing more serious than dental surgery for me, which included (along with a prescription for pain meds), instructions to eat pureed and soft foods for at least a week. By day four I was over the oatmeal, vegan yogurt, noodle soup thing.
I wanted vegetables!!
So, Sunday I headed to the Farmer’s Market planning on loading up on sweet potatoes for a big mash when a gorgeous pile of multicolored cauliflower greeted me at Gaytan Family Farm table. The orange cauliflower, in particular, I know is super sweet. Aha! I’ll make a big mash of cauliflower. I’d seen recipes but had never tried it. Roasted always won out.
I bought 2 big glorious heads. I also picked up a few baby potatoes to act as a thickener and a big bulb of garlic, figuring that mashed cauliflower was going to need some help to not seem bland and watery.
That evening, I got to work cleaning and breaking up the heads into small florets to be steamed on the stove. Because I bought 2 large heads so I would have plenty to eat for the week, I needed to steam and process the mash in two batches. Then I put it all together in a Dutch oven to reheat gently on the stove. If you only want to make one head of cauliflower, then simply cut the recipe in half. I will say that once processed, cauliflower does break down to a smaller amount than expected. Take that into consideration if making this for more than 4 people. You will definitely want 2 heads.
The result was a sweet, creamy version of cauliflower with a texture reminiscent of polenta, probably due to adding the potatoes as well as steaming as opposed to boiling the cauliflower. I highly recommend steaming so the veggies aren’t water logged.
Refrigerate any leftovers, which are delicious for a few days. The mash reheats well in the microwave.
Buttery Mashed Cauliflower with Garlic and Parmesan:
2 heads gold cauliflower, cored, washed and broken into small florets
4 baby Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters
4 T salted vegan butter
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
2/3 cup warmed full fat plant milk
½ tsp kosher salt or to taste
Fresh cracked black pepper
½ cup vegan shredded Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
Steam the cauliflower and potatoes over vigorously simmering water for 10-15 minutes or until very tender. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, melt the butter until foamy, and add the garlic. Cook the garlic about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally, being very careful not to brown. Turn off heat and set aside. Once the veggies are cooked, place half of the steamed cauliflower/potato mix, as well as half of the other ingredients, in a food processor and process for about 2 minutes, scraping down the sides, until smooth and creamy. Put that batch in a small Dutch oven. Process the other half of all ingredients and put in the Dutch oven. Gently reheat over a low flame, adding a bit more warmed plant milk if it needs some thinning. Top with lots of cracked pepper and additional vegan Parmesan. Serve immediately. Refrigerate any leftovers.
About Deborah Brooks
Deborah is currently a documentary film producer. She is also a former certified personal trainer and fitness nutrition coach. The shutdown of business due to Covid-19 and the implication of an animal wet market connection caused her to rethink her high animal protein food lifestyle. She has spent the last year exploring the world of plant based eating for her own health as well as the health of the planet and all of its sentient beings. Her recipes can be found on Instagram. She would love you to follow along on her journey.
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