Okay, this is more like 20-minute side dishes, but I’m such a sucker for alliteration. And if any readers out there are also vegetarians, you know that 95% of our dinners are really a congregation of colorful side dishes anyhow.
Before I go on and on about how delicious and simple and did I mention utterly yummy cauliflower mash is, let me just tell you: you don’t have to like cauliflower. Yet. Believe me, I think cauliflower is possibly the most boring, tasteless veggie on its own. College dining halls almost ruined it for me: steaming it and serving it in a puddle of yellow water. Uck.
But I had cauliflower mash at a french restaurant ages ago and couldn’t believe how I almost underestimated the white mash of deliciousness on my plate. I know you love mashed potatoes, how can you not, but these are in fact lighter, milkier and faster than mashed potatoes! Oh, and while we love starchy potatoes, did you know one cup of fresh cauliflower delivers almost 92% of our daily value for Vitamin C and contain 28 calories? Oh yeah: 28. Unlike mashed potatoes, I only need to add trivial amounts of fat to thicken and flavor my mash.
I don’t buy fresh cauliflower often—my husband freaks out if he spots in on my chopping board. I made this quick and creamy side dish with frozen cauliflower, onion, garlic, and plain fat-free yogurt (fantastic , healthy substitute for sour cream—it’s all I use). I used a mini food processor, but a blender also gets the job done.
Since this was just one serving size (see husband excuse, above), I only used one slice of yellow onion. I heated about one teaspoon of olive oil and sautéed the pieces until tender and slightly brown.
Since I love garlic (specifically when it’s slightly browned and turns sweet), I added one clove of minced garlic. Do you mind if I take this moment to tell you something special? An awesome way to have garlic finely and evenly incorporated into a dish is to use a microplane! Yes, I know, you know it’s an essential kitchen tool and yet you couldn’t find enough things to do with it! Well, when you’re not shaving chocolate and shredding cheese and zesting citrus rinds with your microplane, do use it for fresh garlic!! So little clean up, and you don’t have to dirty a chopping board 🙂
Now since garlic burns very easily, I added it just towards the end of things to let it release its sweetness.
I did use frozen cauliflower and could have steamed it all the way in the microwave, but since I love foods with that crispy browning flavor, I added in the cauliflower here with enough water to just cover the surface of the pot.
I realize now this would have made more sense in a skillet, but so long as you use something with a lid. Cover at this point and steam the cauliflower until so soft it breaks easily with a spoon.
Once everything was tender and browning (even the cauliflower a bit), I tossed it all in this handy little gadget, my Cuisinart Mini-Prep Plus. Use a blender if you don’t have a food processor. This little fella holds 2 cups and is awesome for
I added one tablespoon of plain yogurt (identical flavor and consistency to sour cream but waaaay healthier), and a little shredded parmesan. Whirrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr, and done!
Add salt and pepper as you like, and increase sour cream/yogurt or milk amounts to reach desired consistency. Remember to taste first—you may be surprised by how milky the cauliflower is on its own. I added just a sprinkling of fresh parmesan and found I didn’t even need that much.
amounts I used for one improvised serving size of cauliflower mash:
- 1.5 cups cauliflower florets (thawed if frozen)
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/8 cup onion
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon plain yogurt/sour cream
- 1/2 tablespoon shredded parmesan (and I found this too much)
- pinch of salt and bigger pinch of pepper (say that 10 times)
Take home message: give new veggies a chance : D
Thanks for reading.
P.S. For more 20-minute meals, click the Lickety-Quick category!