If you read the foodie press, you can’t help but have heard about Paleo and other faddy no-carb diets. I don’t really do fads but I do love this versatile creamy cauliflower mash as an alternative to mashed potato either on its own or used as a pie topping (I’ve also included some bonus recipes if you happen to have any leftovers). I’ve made it quite a few times now and had lots of requests for the recipe, even children love it, so here goes….
You will need…
- 2 medium sized cauliflowers
- 150ml double cream or crème fraiche
- 20g butter
- 1tbsp grated Parmesan
- 20g grated cheddar
- 1tbsp Dijon mustard
- Salt and ground white pepper
- Optional: chopped chives or parsley
- Cut the cauliflower into equal sized florets, wash them thoroughly and place them in a large saucepan on a steamer basket. Add water to the base of the pan (just below the line of the steamer), cover, bring to the boil and steam for 10 to 12 minutes until cooked – check with the point of a knife. Be careful not to overcook it or it will collapse, go grey in colour and smell a bit sulphurous.
- Once cooked, drain off the steaming water and allow the cauliflower florets to stand uncovered for a few minutes to allow the final drops of steam to disappear. The cauliflower needs to be dry so that it will mash without going watery.
- Remove the steamer basket and mash the cauliflower coarsely. Now add the cream, cheese, mustard and butter. Mash again and cream the ingredients together. I like this to retain the slightly coarse texture of the cauliflower but you could puree the mixture using a stick blender if you want it to be really smooth. It may need a little extra cream.
- Season with a little salt and pepper. Add a little more mustard and cheese if you prefer the flavour to be stronger – it depends on how much cauliflower you have.
- Stir in the chives or parsley if you want to add a little extra colour and flavour.
Bonus recipe: Cauliflower Cakes
If you have any mash left over, it’s very versatile. I’ve made delicious Cauliflower Cakes by adding an egg to bind the mash, formed small patties with a tablespoon or two of the mix (you could add a little finely chopped spring onion as well), roll in a little flour or breadcrumbs and fry until crisp. Serve with grilled bacon and a poached or fried egg – delicious!
Bonus recipe: Ham and Leek Cauliflower Gratin
Sauté a chopped leek in a pan with some butter, mix with the cauliflower mash and chopped ham to warm it through. Add a dash more cream if it looks too dry. Add to a buttered baking dish and scatter with breadcrumbs mixed with a little Parmesan and bake for 15 minutes or so until the crust is golden.