Don’t forget: we’re drawing the winner of our lovely Le Creuset 4qt oval cocotte at the end of this week! Send us your entry via the contact form on our site to let us know you’ve pre-ordered the book! Official details about the contest and this lovely piece we call Cherry can be found here.
Okay, onto today’s topic: mashed cauliflower. It is no small exaggeration to say that as far as side dishes are concerned, this is one of our absolute favorites. True story: we had the caterers for our wedding reception make our own recipe for mashed cauliflower. That’s how much we love the stuff. Then again, we love cauliflower rice, cauli-sotto (our version of risotto), cauliflower grits, oven roasted cauliflower…so many ways to use one vegetable!
As you can see in the video, not all heads of cauliflower are created equal. Some are rather large, some medium, some small. When we write our mashed cauliflower recipe, we say “1 head of cauliflower.” Based on what that size truly is, you may want to adjust the stock up or down, and/or the cooking time.
Cauli mash (aka “faux potatoes”) is one of the most versatile side dishes you can create. Add-ins that we’ve used/tried to change up the flavor have ranged from chipotle sauce, paleo mayo (for creaminess), bacon crumbles, sundried tomatoes, roasted garlic, jalapenos, Italian parsley, and for those of you putting some dairy in your life, try these with some goat cheese, butter or some heavy whipping cream. There are so many ways you can flavor these – experiment and see what you like!
A few tips and tricks:
- Cooking the cauliflower in chicken stock really adds some nice depth of flavor to the mashed. While you could just steam the cauliflower, I think the flavor is completely different when cooked in the stock.
- Cauliflower has a pretty high water content, so when we cook ours in the chicken broth, we try to get it almost dry (without burning). This usually gives us the creamy texture we personally like.
- If you are more of a chunky mash kind of person, just use a hand masher to retain some of the lumps in your mash.
Watch the video if you need more detailed info on the “how”, where you can admire my Camp Sunshine bracelet from those 2 amazing weeks this summer, and see Buzz almost knock the camera over. Oh, wait, we edited that part out.
For those of you who just want the recipe, here you go:
- 1 head cauliflower, leaves removed, stem and florets chopped into similar sized pieces
- 1 cup chicken stock or broth (more for a particularly large head of cauliflower)
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed
- 1-2 teaspoons fresh rosemary leaves
1. Place all ingredients in a medium sized saucepan or Dutch oven and bring to a boil.
2. Reduce heat to medium and cover, allowing to cook for 15-20 minutes or so, or until the cauliflower is very tender and easily mashed with a fork.**
**You may need to add more stock if everything dries up and your cauliflower is not yet cooked through. Keep an eye on things as it cooks to see if you need to add some more.
3. Once cauliflower is tender and cooked through, pour off any excess stock that remains and reserve.
4. Pour all contents into a food processor and mix. If the cauliflower seems too dry, add in some of the reserved stock.
Add in any spices, herbs, or “mix-ins” that you’d like as discussed above.