Sunday, February 6, 2011

Pureed Roasted Cauliflower with Garlic

This mash used to be a house standard and I'm surprised it's been so long since I've made it. Monster requested it specifically the other night, and since I'd seemingly forgotten about it, I'm super glad he did! The recipe has morphed a lot from the way I found it originally, changes here and there until I ended up with the simple goodness below. If you do try it, just feel your way through the recipe and alter at will until it suits your specific palette.

I thought we had a reasonable sized cauli last night, but it only fed the two of us with a tiny snack leftover for the next day. Get the largest head of cauliflower you can find and just use two sheet pans to roast, so you won't be sad like I was when you don't have a whole slew of leftovers. :-)
Try serving the cauliflower with Salmon with French Lentils and Mustard Dressing, or just the lentils if you don't eat's a great combo!

Pureed Roasted Cauliflower with Garlic:

1 head of cauliflower (If you have a super huge head of cauli, just split it between two baking sheets, so you don't overcrowd one pan)
3+ cloves of garlic depending on the size of the clove and your cauliflower, cut into 2-3 chunks ea.
~2 Tbs olive oil
Kosher salt to taste
optional: more olive oil, or a pat of Earth Balance, or butter (I didn't use any this time)
warmed liquid for pureeing to your liking (I used warmed [nuked] unsweetened soymilk, but you can use a light veggie broth, or chicken broth, etc.)
pepper to taste

Pre-heat oven to 400.
Cut cauliflower into florettes then slice about 1/8-1/4" thick. The more small bits you have the more carmelization you'll get on them...a good thing!
Place on a jelly roll pan and toss with garlic and olive oil.
Sprinkle with Kosher salt to taste.
Roast for about 12 minutes, then stir.
Return to oven and roast about 12-14 minutes more, rotating your pans if using 2.
I bumped the heat up to 425 for the second leg of cooking since I wasn't getting much browning (everything was on one sheet pan).
Once the cauliflower is tender and you have some good browning (browning, not burning), transfer cauliflower and garlic to a food processor, add butter if using and start adding warmed liquid as you puree. Once you've got a texture and consistency you're happy with, taste and adjust seasoning. Add pepper, pulse it in and you're done.

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