I resisted making these for months because somewhere in the back of my mind an unpleasant relationship with cauliflower lingers in my childhood memories. My mom was an excellent cook overall, but being inventive with vegetables simply wasn’t her thing. If she served cauliflower to us, it was plain and raw or steamed plain.
I’ve been doing lots with roasted cauliflower these days (see Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Cauliflower and Cauliflower Apple Soup with Truffle Oil and Chopped Chives), but have been reluctant to try much more. I’ve tried the “rice” made from cauliflower, and while it was a decent and much healthier substitute for regular rice, it wasn’t anything worth writing home about.
So I guess I had low expectations when I tried making mashed cauliflower as a great base for meats in sauces and a mashed potato substitute. But no matter–mashed cauliflower is amazingly delicious!! It’s also super easy to make and you get to feel great about eating it because it’s very nutritious and far superior in taste, texture and nutrition to the ol’ white potato. Remember, doctors recommend we eat cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, etc.) 2 to 3 times per week. Cauliflower is an excellent source of Potassium, fiber, Vitamin C and Vitamin B-6.
2-3 cloves garlic, unpeeled
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium-sized head cauliflower, trimmed and broken into florets
1/4 cup coconut milk
3 tbsp butter, ghee or other butter substitute
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
Preheat a toaster oven or regular oven to 400F. Place the unpeeled garlic cloves in a small heat-proof dish and roast until soft, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring 1/2-inch of water to boil in a medium saucepan. Drop in a steamer basket and add the cauliflower florets. Cover and steam until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain off all the water and place the florets in a food processor or high-powered blender, such as a Vitamix.
Remove the papery skins from the garlic cloves by squeezing them gently and add the cloves to the cauliflower along with the remaining ingredients. Process or blend until smooth.
Serve immediately. Serves 4-6 (just 4 with my family because we fight over every spoonful).