Low-Carb Recipe: Pureed Cauliflower

14 Jun

Two main ingredients are all you need to make this yummy side dish.

Grace’s sister here, invading the kitchen with a quick recipe that is both low-carb and vegetarian.

On a trip to Santa Fe several years ago, my husband and I treated ourselves to dinner at the Coyote Cafe, where my dinner came with a serving of a soft, delicately flavored something-or-other that sort of looked like mashed potatoes but definitely wasn’t.

I’ve never forgotten that first encounter with pureed cauliflower — or my delight at discovering how easy it was to replicate the dish at home.

Like most cruciferous vegetables, cauliflower normally has a tendency to taste a little too … well … cruciferous. You can douse it with cheese sauce and mask part of that unappetizing smell that accompanies cooked brassicas like broccoli or cabbage, but at the end of the day, it’s still going to taste like a slightly less obnoxious version of broccoli.

Pureed cauliflower changes all that. I have no idea why, but when you drain it and run it through a food processor with a stick of butter, cauliflower takes on a flavor that is vaguely reminiscent of mashed potatoes, but smoother and more complex.

Process cooked cauliflower with a stick of butter.

Bonus: It’s incredibly cheap and simple to make. Start by dumping a bag of frozen cauliflower into a big saucepan and covering it with water. Bring it to a boil, then let it simmer until the cauliflower is tender (usually 20 to 30 minutes), adding water as necessary to keep it from boiling dry and scorching.

Drain the cauliflower, dump it into a food processor, and add a stick of butter. (You can use less if you’re worried about fat content, but I like it good and rich.)

Process at high speed until the butter and cauliflower have blended into a thick puree and serve. If you’re a carnivore, this goes well with steak and salad; at our house, where the resident vegetarian (yours truly) does most of the cooking, we just swap the meat for a big pile of sauteed mushrooms and call it good.

This recipe stores well for make-ahead meals.

The finished product looks prettier if you serve it from nice dishes like Grace does, but I was cooking in advance, so mine went straight into an ugly Rubbermaid tub to be stored in the fridge until just before dinner, and it tasted so good that I forgot to photograph it on my plate before I ate it.

Pureed cauliflower is a good choice if you like to cook things ahead of time and store them for later use, as it will keep in the refrigerator for several days and can be reheated quickly in the microwave.


One Response to “Low-Carb Recipe: Pureed Cauliflower”

  1. Cucee Sprouts September 14, 2010 at 2:07 PM #

    What a vegetable this is. I love how versatile cauliflower is. I so tempted to try your recipe later this week (I have 3 heads of cauliflower waiting for me at home.) I will come back to your site and report on how your recipe turned out for sure! Would you like to take a look at my most recent cauliflower creation? http://cuceesprouts.com/2010/09/marinated-cauliflower-salad/

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