After two weeks of over-indulgence, we are ready for more vegetable focused meals. It was great fun to try out new restaurants in the midwest and to enjoy special meals that Mommy made. Then we came home in time for Easter and a birthday weekend with Jessica. More wonderful meals. (How many desserts did we eat last weekend?) So on Monday when I finally made it to the grocery store, my shopping cart was filled mostly with vegetables.
I've made salads, oven roasted vegetables and green smoothies. And it's only Wednesday morning. The cauliflower was bought to try out a brussels sprout/cauliflower dish later this week. But my email yesterday happened to contain a recipe for "diet mashed potatoes."
I have made "let's-substitute-mashed-cauliflower-for-potatoes" recipes before and never loved them. But this one had a little more going for it in terms of seasonings. And it was still easy. So half of my head of cauliflower went to this recipe for last night's supper. It's much better than other versions I've tried before. Flavorful—and healthy. I can just feel the vitamins rushing through my body!
But let's be real and call it what it is. I think it sets up false expectations to call it fake mashed potatoes. It looks like potatoes but it does not taste or feel like potatoes. It's good in its own right. Daddy-O stirred some shredded Cheddar cheese into his. I'll do this one again.
1 head cauliflower (about 1-1/2 lb), cut into large flowerettes
3 cloves garlic, peeled (or 1/1-2 tsp. of jarred minced garlic)
2 (14-oz cans) low-sodium chicken broth
salt, to taste,
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
chopped chives (optional)
In a large saucepan, combine cauliflower, garlic and broth. If cauliflower is not completely covered by broth, add water to just cover. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and cook until cauliflower is tender, about 12 minutes.
Pour broth into a measuring cup and save. Transfer cauliflower and garlic to a food processor and process until smooth, adding in some of the liquid to moisten mixture. (Enough to make it "blend" but not so much that you have soup. I added a little, then added a little more. You cannot "un-add.") Season with salt and pepper. Just before serving, stir in chives, if using them. Serve warm.
I only made a half recipe last night and used a handheld immersion blender and decided that wasn't the best way to blend them. But it was easier than pulling out my big food processor. I just couldn't get them as smooth as I would have liked. A full recipe might have worked, but a half recipe was not deep enough in the pan for the immersion blender to work properly.
And with my seemingly permanent problem of not reading a recipe thoroughly, I added the salt and pepper to the broth in the pan and cooked it all together instead of seasoning it at the end. Does that make a difference? I don't know, but the cauliflower was so tasty I'll probably do it that way again. I used the jarred garlic and didn't measure, so I may have used a little more than the recipe says.