equipment: Large skillet , Vitamix
Who needs mashed potatoes when you can have buttery cauli mash instead?! However, perfecting this recipe is like training and racing—there is an art to it that you can dial in over time. I’ve been making cauliflower mash long before it was trendy, and I’ve messed it up quite a few times along the way by either burning the cauliflower (yields an unsightly brown mash) or making it too thin and runny (soup anyone?). Some people like to steam or roast their cauliflower, but I prefer a stovetop method cooking it with lots of butter or ghee and bone broth. But arguably the most important variable is your blender to turn the cauliflower florets into a fluffy mash. I prefer and use the mother of all high-powered blenders: a Vitamix.
- Chop up the cauliflower into small florets or chunks, trying to keep size consistent. Not as small as you have for cauliflower rice, but also not the full floret—somewhere between.
- Heat up large pan or Dutch oven (I like using my enamel cast iron dutch oven by La Creuset) on low-medium heat, and melt in at least one pat of butter or equivalent of ghee. Err on the side of more butter to prevent any burning or sticking to the pan. Add cauliflower and minced garlic and stir well. Keep it on a low-medium heat and cook slowly to prevent heat from burning/browning the cauli. Depending on how much cauli you have (or how much you like a buttery taste), add more butter or ghee. Pro tip: adding fat to veggies helps us absorb all their nutrients and vitamins!
- Sprinkle on salt, to taste. Don’t add pepper or other seasonings/herbs that could change the color of the cauli—save those for after if desired (i.e. garnish with fresh parsley).
- Secret touch: After about 5-6 minutes, add a 1/4 to 1/2 cup of filtered water to the pan, just enough to cover the bottom of the pan, roughly a 1/4 inch or so. Turn up the heat and allow the water to steam and absorb into the cauliflower. This plumps it up and gets the cauliflower ideal for mashing. Add more water as desired, just making sure it all absorbs, then turn heat back down. You do not want excess water still in the pan when you add it to the Vitamix, so if there is too much water just crank up the heat and it will steam off.
- In place of filtered water you can use bone broth to create an even more nutrient-dense, rich mash.
- When cauliflower is soft and tender (about 10-20 minutes depending on how big the pieces are and your stove’s level of heat), turn off heat and let it sit for a minute or two.
- Scoop cauliflower into the Vitamix. If there’s any excess liquid in the pan don’t put it in blender.
- Slowly turn blender to highest power and use the masher handle to speed up the process and mix the cauliflower. Let it go for about 2 minutes or until fully mashed and fluffy.
- Scoop into serving dish, add any extra seasonings or herbs, or even some fresh Parmesan, and serve!