Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Have You Had Cauliflower Puree Lately?

Pin It Every once in awhile, particularly if I have to get into a bathing suit or a new dress, I cut back on carbs, desserts and cocktails for a couple of weeks and accentuate fruits and vegetables on my diet. Unfortunately, this is one of those times. Last night I made it half way, having a steak on the grill, accompanied by cauliflower puree and a big salad. I wasn't very successful on the cocktail side...today I'll try again.

Cauliflower is one of the most delicious and neglected of all purees. It is also a great alternative to mashed potatoes, except, of course, for Thanksgiving dinner. If you are making the roast turkey from the previous post, try it with this the first night instead of the mashed potatoes. Just think, unlike potatoes, you don't have to peel cauliflower!... and it is also low in calories and carbs, and high in fiber. Couldn't ask for more.

There are many things you can add to this puree including wasabi paste (other people's idea, not mine) and garlic, but I like mine with just a little parmersan cheese and butter. There is enough moisture in the cauliflower so that you don't have to add cream or milk, but there again, I sometimes sneak a little milk or cream to make it smoother. Try putting it in a 350 degree oven for a few minutes afterwards to "dry" it up and add another 5 -10 minutes under the broiler to brown the parmesan. That is my secret.

This is one of those dishes that should be high on your list of healthy, delicious and economical...If you have never tried it... do...you will be pleasantly surprised!

Serves 4


1 head of cauliflower
3 tablespoons butter softened
2 TB cream or milk (optional)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
Chopped Chives


1. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Meanwhile, cut off the stems of the cauliflower and break into florets. Toss in a steamer basket atop the boiling water and steam for about 30 minutes or until tender.

2. Remove the cauliflower and toss it in a blender*. Process until smooth.

3. With the motor running add the butter, salt, and pepper. When incorporated, turn off the blender, and fold in the parmesan and chives. Season with salt if it needs it. If you are going to serve later or the next day, stop here and stick it in the refrigerator. To serve immediately add more Parmesan on top, place in the oven for about 15 minutes and another 5 under the broiler. Add more chives before you serve.

If you are going to serve it later on in the day, take out of the fridge an hour before, add more parmesan cheese to the top and place in the oven at 350 until hot (usually 20 minutes) and in the broiler another 5-10 minutes. Add chives before serving.

*You can also mash the cauliflower with a potato masher right in the pot if you do not have a blender or food processor.

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