Why have mashed potatoes when you can have pureed cauliflower? The first time I pureed this wonderful vegetable I was truly shocked by it's narural creaminess. When I served the dish to my family they swore I had dumped cream into the mixture (of course I hadn't!). My kids "scarfed" it and were disappointed that I had only pureed one head. As well, caulflower provides a beautiful landscape for adding extra flavors such as fresh herbs and spices This healthy side dish can accompany any meal you are preparing.
- 1 head cauliflower,2 to 2 1/2 pounds
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pull the leaves off the cauliflower and cut out the core in a kind of cone-shaped section. Then pull the florets off the head with your fingers, using a knife when you need to. Break or cut the florets into smaller, regular pieces (about 1 1/2 inch) and put them in a steamer insert. Bring about 1 inch of water to a boil in the steamer pot, add the insert, cover, and cook for about 15 minutes, or until you can poke a paring knife into the stems and you can feel that there's still a little texture there. Save 1 cup of steaming water.
In batches, put cauliflower in a food processor to puree. If you are having problems getting the cauliflower to puree add a little of the cooking water but as little as possible. With the motor running, add oil, salt, and pepper through the feed tube. Taste for seasoning and serve hot.
*Image courtesy Flickr creative commons.