Try mashed cauliflower with roasted garlic instead of potatoes
I can’t believe the calendar just turned over to October. Seriously? It feels like I was just getting ready for our 4th of July barbecue. But here it is — Fall. In fact, this morning we actually had small reprieve from the heat and humidity that has assaulted South Florida since May. When I woke up this morning, the temperature was about 70 degrees with low humidity. I can see you rolling your eyes but this is major for us Floridians.
I bounded out of bed opened all the windows. It was the first time since the early spring that I’ve aired out the house and I was positively giddy! So much so, that Scott and I enjoyed our coffee on the patio, we read the paper — heck, we even ate breakfast outside. These brief reprieves are so welcome.
Of course, by noon, the air conditioning kicked on. The temperature in the house had risen to 77 degrees, prompting our climate controlled abode to shift into overdrive. Windows closed, heat returning. Damn.
None of this has anything to do with today’s post, except that I recently asked some of my readers to share with me their favorite comfort foods for the changing seasons. Not surprisingly, there were fans of creamy soups, bean soups and chicken soups, braises and stews, meatballs, fall vegetables, mac and cheese or other indulgent creamy pasta dishes and sweet treats like pumpkin breads, muffins and anything chocolate. There was also a challenge from my sister-in-law, Heather, to make a crave worthy dish that she could eat with abandon and still fit into her skinny jeans.
I think this one qualifies as healthy and crave worthy. It gets a floral boost from freshly chopped thyme but the kicker for me is the garlic. A whole head of sweet oven roasted garlic, mashed into a paste and blended into the pur?e. It has the mouth feel of mashed potatoes and none of the guilt. It would be perfect with roast chicken or pork or any braised beef dish.
- 1 head cauliflower, separated into florets
- 1 head garlic
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped
- 1/4-1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (or to taste)
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Slice about 1/4" from the head of garlic and drizzle olive oil over the exposed cloves. Wrap garlic in aluminum foil and roast for 40-50 minutes, until soft. Remove from oven and cool until you can handle it.
- Meanwhile, set a vegetable steamer into a pot or saucepan with a lid. Add an inch of water to the pot and fill the steamer basket with the cauliflower florets. Cover the pot and bring the water to a boil. Cook cauliflower until very tender (so that when you pierce it with a knife it goes in and comes out easily without catching), about 10 minutes.
- Transfer cauliflower to a food processor. Squeeze the individual cloves of roasted garlic into the cauliflower. Add the thyme and secure the lid on the food processor. Pulse the cauliflower mixture until there are no lumps and it's smooth like mashed potatoes. This may take a few minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve.
- The nice thing about cauliflower is it has no starch, so there's no worry about over-processing -- they don't become gluey. Yay!