Cauliflower isn’t usually my go-to vegetable. Broccoli, salad greens, kale—those all make the weekly rotation. But cauliflower is a rarity. Though I’m pleased to say, that’ll probably change after making this Roasted Garlic Mashed Cauliflower! It’s soft and creamy, packed full of vitamins, and dare I say tastes nearly identical to mashed potatoes, with a lot fewer carbs.
While shopping at the farmer’s market recently, I stumbled across a farmer from Kankakee, Illinois. Kankakee is a only a mile or two from my hometown, so I struck up a conversation with the farmer. It turns out we knew a few of the same people (that’s small town living for you!). He had displayed several gorgeous heads of golden cauliflower in his booth, and I knew I had to grab one.
I roast most vegetables, but roasted cauliflower isn’t my favorite. And I’ve seen mashed cauliflower recipes, but I wasn’t too impressed. I want a little more flavor! So I doctored up this mashed cauliflower just like I do with mashed potatoes—butter and lots of roasted garlic.
Roasting garlic is pretty simple. You chop off about ¼ inch of a garlic bulb, drizzle olive oil over the top, wrap it in foil, and roast it. That’s it! Your home will smell heavenly while it’s roasting.
The end result is garlic cloves that turn a gorgeous deep shade of brown. You squeeze them out of the paper-like skin, and you have roasted garlic! If you’re looking for a shortcut, I have seen roasted garlic cloves sold at Whole Foods Market, too.
The kicker with this Roasted Garlic Mashed Cauliflower is that it tastes SO similar to mashed potatoes. I could have totally fooled my husband. You can eat a huge scoop for a lot fewer carbs than a similar scoop of mashed potatoes. And they’re paleo-friendly, too! You could easily substitute olive oil for the butter, but I like the classic mashed potato taste that butter provides.
Golden cauliflower can sometimes be hard to find, but white cauliflower will taste just the same. The finished dish will end up looking even more like mashed potatoes without the light golden hue! Best of all, it’s all made in the food processor (here’s the food processor that I use) so there’s no worry that you’ll be left with chunky mashed cauliflower.
When I was shopping for the cauliflower, the farmer also had purple cauliflower. He confirmed my suspicions when I asked—mashed purple cauliflower will indeed turn a slightly unappetizing gray color, so I don’t recommend the purple one!
Roasted Garlic Mashed Cauliflower
Yield 4 servings
I used a golden cauliflower here. It’ll taste the same with a white cauliflower. I don’t recommend using purple cauliflower—it’ll turn gray when mashed!
- 1 bulb of garlic
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 large head cauliflower (I used a golden cauliflower variety)
- ¾ cup vegetable or chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons butter
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- For garnish: fresh chopped parsley
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Slice ¼ inch off the top of the garlic bulb. Place the bulb, cut side up, on a 12x12 inch piece of aluminum foil, folded in half. Pour the olive oil over the top of the cut garlic bulb. Pull the edges of the foil around the garlic bulb to enclose the garlic in foil. Place in the oven and roast for 45–60 minutes, or until the garlic cloves are deep brown. Squeeze the roasted garlic out of the skin.
- Meanwhile, cut the cauliflower into large florets. Place the florets and ¾ cup of chicken stock in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring the stock to a boil, cover, and cook for 10–12 minutes, or until the cauliflower is tender.
- Use a slotted spoon to place the steamed cauliflower into the bowl of a food processor, along with ¼ cup of the remaining chicken stock. Add the roasted garlic, butter, and kosher salt. Cover the food processor, leaving a vent for steam, and process until smooth. If necessary, add more of the chicken stock to create a smooth texture.
- Place in a serving dish, garnish with parsley, and serve.
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