The first time I made mashed cauliflower, I just about swore off it forever. I had found a recipe that called for boiling the cauliflower, before pureeing it in a food processor. I was in my “diligent recipe follower” stage at that point, so I didn’t stop to question the method of cooking. I boiled potatoes for mashed potatoes so boiling cauliflower made sense, right? Wrong! It was a watery, gooey mess, and the most bland dish I’ve ever tasted.
It took a few years before I was willing to try mashed cauliflower again. But when I finally did, I ignored the recipes online and improvised. First, I chose to roast the cauliflower instead of boiling it. Roasting veggies brings out their wonderful flavor. They get crispy and brown, and all those dark roasted bits lead to a ton of flavor. Cauliflower is no exception. On it’s own it doesn’t stand up well to more flavorful veggies, but when roasted the flavor the cauliflower is hiding intensifies.
Second, I treated the cauliflower like a substitute for mashed potatoes. I had grown up with mashed potatoes as a normal dinner side, and I wanted something a little less heavy. Enter cauliflower! Once the cauliflower is roasted, I added it to the bowl of a food processor with butter, milk, and cream; then pureed until smooth. The result is a light side filled with roasted flavor.
I’ve been making this dish for about 4 years, and honestly, it has replaced mashed potatoes at our dinner table! Give the recipe a try this holiday season. Don’t forgot to let me know what you think in the comments and send your photos to #cleanplateclb .
Cauliflower mash is a light, creamy alternative to mashed potatoes with the caramelized flavor of roasted cauliflower
- 1 large head Cauliflower, chopped (about 7 cups)
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 whole milk
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- 4 tablespoons avocado oil
- 1/2 teaspoon + ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
- In a large bowl, coat the cauliflower with the avocado oil and 1/2 tsp of kosher salt.
- Spread the cauliflower out on a large sheet pan, making sure not to overcrowd the pan.
- Roast in the oven for 20 minutes. The cauliflower should be golden to dark brown and pretty soft when pieced with a fork. The total roast time will depend on how small you chopped the cauliflower. I tend to chop it pretty small so it will cook quicker, and I overcook it slightly so it will grind easier in the food processor.
- Take the cauliflower out of the oven and let cool slightly for 2 minutes.
- Add the cauliflower to the bowl of a food processor along with the butter, milk, and cream.
- Process on high, stopping to scrape down the sides, until the cauliflower to completely pureed. I puree mine until the mixture is smooth, but if you’d like a little texture, don’t puree as long. If you find the mixture to be on the dry side, add in 1/4 cup more milk and 1 tbsp of butter. Taste for salt; if you find you need more salt, add in up to another 1/4 tsp of kosher salt.
- If making ahead, remove from the fridge about an hour prior to heating. Dot the top of the mashed cauliflower with a few pats of butter, then cover in foil. Heat in a 375 degree oven for 30-45 minutes.
- Category: Side Dish
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: cauliflower, side dish, butter, milk, crea, veggies, vegetables, dinner side, thanksgiving side