You may remember a few years back, as Americans writhed in the merciless clutches of low-carb diets, that many restaurants took to featuring mashed cauliflower instead of mashed potatoes. Ever on the trailing edge of the latest culinary trend, and desperate to use up the remains of some cauliflower that had been sitting forlornly at the bottom of the vegetable bin for days (okay, OKAY WEEKS!! I ADMIT IT!)–as I said, eager to use up my cauliflower, I decided to try mashed cauliflower for myself. (And for Fred, of course.)
There was only one tiny problem with my cauliflower. Mashed cauliflower worked in restaurants because cauliflower, like potatoes, is, of course, white. But, in the same spirit that had prompted us to buy cranberry beans, we had purchased two heads of cauliflower that were, respectively, purple and orange.
I don’t think you need a picture to imagine what came out, and really, I didn’t want to take one. All I can say is that it tasted wonderful, but next time definitely go for the ordinary white cauliflower.
Mashed Cauliflower (makes 4 modest servings)
1 head cauliflower
1 onion, minced
4 large cloves garlic (add more or less to taste)
8 tbps. butter
1/4 cup half and half, milk or cream
Salt to taste
Cut cauliflower into large chunks. Fill bottom of pot with water to about 1/2″. Put cauliflower in pot, salt, and stir. Cover and cook on high heat for about 10 minutes. Continue to cook on medium low heat until cauliflower is very soft.
In the meantime, melt 4 tbsp. butter in skillet. Saute onions on medium heat in butter until soft. Turn heat to low, add garlic, and cook for about 1 minute. Turn heat off.
Drain cauliflower. Add onions and garlic, 2 tbsp. butter, salt, and half the half and half. (I loved typing that!) Cover and let sit until butter melts. Mash with electric mixer until blended. (Best to turn the mixer on low speed for that.) Add more butter and half and half until mix is desired consistency. Salt more as needed.
Feed to your kids and watch them gobble up cauliflower like it was candy.
I liked our orange and purple cauliflower mash. It was really good with the coleslaw. When you were a kid did you think people were referring to it as “cold slaw”? I think the thing to do is mash the orange and purple cauliflower separately: that way the color brown is avoided and the cauliflower can be presented in stripes or concentric circles. Purple, orange and white stripes of cauliflower – what flag is that?
Mushy peas–delicious too! >>References to the color of your cauliflower reminds me of the time I cooked cabbage in a cast-iron skillet and it turned blue.
There you go, a new way to get food blue: blue cabbage. As we extend the color pallet of food we can begin to paint with it. I refer you to the mannerist painter Archimboldo: he painted portraits as still life assemblages. Peter Gabriel got a good bit of the sledge hammer video from him.
I, too, thought it was “cold slaw” as a child. Also, I wish there was a picture of the cauliflower mash. I would have been interested to see the final color.>>Speaking of pictures, Boo made scrambled eggs today, so I took the opportunity to make some more photographs of her technique. I’ve put them in a set, here:>>< HREF="http://www.flickr.com/photos/87618458@N00/511050084/in/set-72157600251761023/" REL="nofollow">How to Make Eggs<>