Cauliflower has proven to be one of the most versatile vegetables. You can use Cauliflower to dip in sauces and spreads like Hummus, you can roast it in the over with spices (thyme, garlic, and red pepper), you can use it in soup and creams and it is now even used as a replacement for rice. Not to mention how delicious it is roasted and tossed with pasta.
I love how it adapts to so many variations. Curry cauliflower with raisins and pistachios are incredibly tasty! Or just steamed with a pinch of salt and a drizzle of good extra virgin olive oil, simple and so good!
I decided to try mashed cauliflower just to replace the typical potatoes for thanksgiving. We always end up making the Holiday Rice Pilaf and for me rice and potatoes, even though they are amazing it feels like too much of a carb festival if eaten together.
I am so happy I did! I made creamy cauliflower because of the holidays and wanted to adapt it to the typical mashed potato recipe, just lighter. Let me tell you, it makes you forget that you’re not eating potatoes. It also makes you feel better since they are extremely light!
I love the fact that you don’t have to peel and cook the potatoes. Cauliflower florets cook in less than 10 minutes. I made 3 small cauliflowers since I wanted to make 6 servings but you can easily adjust this recipe to serve two persons by making a small one.
Additionally, if you wanted to make it vegan you can make cauliflower with some extra virgin olive oil, a tablespoon of vegan butter and spices and that’s it! You won’t be disappointed at the consistency or the flavor. Next time I want to try it with some caramelized onions since I love the taste they add to mashed potatoes. I will keep you posted.
This is what you need to make this dish…
Creamy Mashed Cauliflower
Serves: About 6
Time: Less than 30 minutes
(If you make it au gratin, consider adding 30 more minutes)
3 small cauliflower heads, cut into florets
2 tbs of mascarpone cheese
2 tbs of cream cheese (1 used 1/3 less fat)
1 tbs of butter
1/2 tsp of dry thyme
3/4 tsp of salt (or to taste)
1/2 tsp of black pepper
Pinch of nutmeg, freshly grated
For the gratin:
1/4 cup of parmesan cheese, shredded
2 tbs of breadcrumbs
1 tsp of butter
1/4 tsp of dry thyme or a pinch of fresh thyme
Cut cauliflower into florets and simmer in water for approximately 8-10 minutes or until the cauliflower is tender enough that you can pierce them with a fork.
Drain the cauliflower and place it in the bowl of the food processor. Add mascarpone cheese, cream cheese, butter, thyme, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Process until cauliflower is pureed. Taste and adjust salt and pepper to your tasting.
You can perfectly serve it this way or you can make it au gratin. Just place the pureed cauliflower into a 9 x 12 inch rectangular baking dish. Mix parmesan cheese with the dry thyme and breadcrumbs and spread all over the top. Add little pieces of the tsp of butter and bake at 375 ° for about 15 minutes. Broil at high for 3 minutes or until golden brown.
Serve and enjoy!
This is a very easy make ahead dish. Just prepare, refrigerate and bake the next day.
The baking time may vary depending on your oven. It took me 20 minutes at 375° F and 3 minutes to broil at high to obtain a golden crust on top.