Mashed cauliflower

True story: we served mashed cauliflower at our wedding reception. We didn’t care if other people wanted mashed potatoes—this was our wedding! I gave our caterers my recipe for the mashed cauliflower, and they served it in these great pewter serving dishes. It was awesome, and I was thrilled to share this healthy mashed potato alternative on our big day. Friends and family still comment on how tasty they thought the mashed cauliflower was! Check our refrigerator at home, and on most days you are apt to find a container of mashed cauliflower. It’s super-low-carb, goes great with everything from burgers to pot roast to grilled chicken, and is incredibly easy to make.

My secret? Cooking the cauliflower in a chicken stock adds depth to the flavor.

1 head fresh cauliflower
1 cup (250 mL) chicken stock
¼ teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
2 cloves garlic, crushed

  1. Cut your cauliflower head into small chunks of the florets and stem.
  2. Place all ingredients in a medium saucepan or Dutch oven and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat to medium heat, and cover, allowing to cook for 20 minutes or so until the cauliflower is very tender and easily mashed with a fork. You may need to add more stock if everything is dried up . . . or if you have a lot of liquid still remaining, pour most of it off into a bowl and reserve. Much better to start with too little liquid than too much (you can always add more if needed). Cauliflower holds a ton of liquid, so start with less than you think necessary.
  4. Carefully pour cauliflower and all ingredients into the bowl of a food processor, or keep in pan and use an immersion blender or hand mixer to mash. If the mashed cauliflower seems too dry, add in some of the reserved liquid or additional chicken stock.

Tips & Tricks—While you could use a hand potato masher, it will not get the cauliflower super smooth. If you prefer chunky, this is absolutely the way to go!

Variations—There are so many ways you can tweak this recipe: add some roasted garlic and rosemary. Try some Hungarian smoked paprika. Or go with some crumbled-up bacon and fresh chopped chives. If you want a kick, opt for some horseradish or wasabi. Maybe a drizzle of olive oil and fresh chopped basil? Putting in a few tablespoons of butter helps make these really creamy. I’ve made the mash with a combination of turnips and cauliflower. The turnips add a little sweetness, and are super tasty!

Ingredient Notes—Pre-bagged fresh or frozen cauliflower works just fine for this one.