If there is one vegetable having a revival of sorts it is cauliflower. Gone are the days of being boiled to a watery mush and then topped with a floury cheese sauce. It must be related to all the no-carb diet trends out there and I am certainly not complaining.
Today cauliflower “couscous” recipes abound, cauliflower puree appears on many fine restaurant menus and one of my favourite local restaurants, Hemelhuijs, roasts a whole head of cauliflower and serve it with salmon and cream cheese – absolutely divine. I roasted a whole head of cauliflower a few times now – sprinkled with some Moroccan spices or my home made Baharat and roasted for an hour or so at 180 degrees. The vegetable keeps its shape but yields a soft texture and almost sweet taste, perfectly paired with some smoked fish for a light, healthy lunch.
This cauliflower mash might not be as elegant as a puree but tastes just as good. It is the way to go when you just don’t have the time or inclination for extra dirty appliances like food processors and sieves. Boil it, drain it and finish it off all in the same pot – simpler it can not get. The garlic and cheese adds richness and with just a hint of spice sprinkled on top, any fussy veggie eater will be satisfied.
Doused with the rich gravy of your favourite stew or roast and I guarantee happy faces all round.
- 1 medium head cauliflower, broken into florets
- 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese (or any aged hard cheese)
- 1 clove garlic, mashed
- 50g butter
- salt and pepper to season
- sprinkle of nutmeg or Chinese 5 spice
- Boil the cauliflower florets in salted water for about 20 – 30 minutes until soft. Drain and set aside.
- In the same pot melt the butter and gently fry the garlic in the butter for a few minutes.
- Add the cooked florets and mash with a vegetable masher until finely mashed.
- Mix in the grated cheese.
- Check the seasoning and serve with a sprinkle of nutmeg or 5 spice.