Cauliflower Mash Recipe
This is the companion recipe to the Rich Beef and Red Wine Casserole. If you’re making a mash or puree out of a different vegetable to potatoes, my advice is to not expect it to be like a potato mash. Lots of healthy recipe books say it’s JUST like mashed potatoes, and it’s not. It tastes like cauliflower because it’s made of cauliflower! But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t taste good - if you like cauliflower in cheese sauce, it tastes more like that, and I like to cook mine so it has a texture very similar to a wet polenta. I usually serve this with a casserole that already had potatoes in it, so I can have something to combine with the juices but also adds an extra vegetable to the plate. I thought Tim would hate this but halfway through eating it he got up to get some more, so I can vouch for the fact that even the most vegetable-phobic eaters will love it.
Note: you can use all low-fat/margarine products as I do, it makes no difference to the end result.
- 1 head of cauliflower (about 1kg, but it doesn’t really matter, you can cook this one by sight)
- 30g butter
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1 tablespoon cream
- 25-30g fresh finely grated parmesan (you could also use cheddar if you didn’t have any parmesan)
- Fresh nutmeg (optional)
- Salt and pepper
Cut your cauliflower up into large florets. Place them in a saucepan and add water until it comes 3/4 of the way up the cauliflower. Put a lid on and cook over medium heat until very tender, but not falling apart. (If you intend to puree it, you could get it to the ‘overcooked’ stage). Drain and place back into the pan.
Cauliflower isn’t as easy to mash as potatoes, so I do my best to break it all up and add my first round of seasonings – the butter, milk, cream and a generous amount of freshly ground salt and pepper. Heat and taste.
At this point, I prefer to put the mash into a small food processor and get it to the consistency of sort of very wet crumbs. You could also use a blender, but it may give you more of a puree than a mash. Process it until you’re happy with the texture (you may need to add more butter, cream or milk to help it along) then return it to the pan.
Stir in the parmesan, grate over a bit of fresh nutmeg if using, taste and add any more seasoning. I found mine needed a very generous amount of salt and pepper, as I didn’t salt my cooking water, and actually cauliflower really does need a good season to bring out the flavour.