Saturday, November 6, 2010

Garlic Mashed Cauliflower

Another oldie but goodie...
Garlic Mashed Cauliflower
If you’re watching your carbs, give this a try instead of potatoes!

cauliflower, originally uploaded by Cathy (Kate) Johnson.

Yes, I know this is normally garlic mashed potatoes...but for those who are trying to cut down on carbs and also up your intake of cole-family vegetables, this is LUSCIOUS! Looks pretty much like the old standby, too...

We get a fresh head of cauliflower and cut it up into small florets–what you don’t eat raw, that is. (I can’t keep my hands off of it--you may hear me crunching away right now--but there’s always plenty left...) Steam until tender with just a bit of water, then drain off the excess liquid. (Yes, of course you save that for soup stock!)

Mash with a potato masher–we’ve got the old-fashioned hand-operated kind, but you can use an electric mixer or food processor, if you prefer. I just like quiet in the kitchen!

My good old masher! (One of several--I like antique kitchen tools...)

Add at least a tablespoon of minced garlic (lots more if you're garlic nuts!), sea salt*, fresh ground pepper and a tablespoon full or two of butter. Yes, real butter--organic if you can find it!

We use about 3/4 to a cup of cheese, sometimes freshly grated reduced-fat (part skim, that is) sharp cheddar, sometimes a bag of pre-shredded Italian cheeses with herbs, if we catch them on sale. You can skip the cheese altogether, of course, or add a non-dairy substitute if necessary--I hear they melt better now. Mix that in while the cauliflower is still hot, and if you like, return it to the burner to continue melting the cheese.

Note:  Ooops, I forgot to mention that this is also quite good WITHOUT cheese, for those who are watching their fat intake closely...I edited the entry!

For a really delicious treat–if you can wait that long!–plop it in a greased casserole dish, then tuck it into the oven set at 325 degrees till it’s brown on top.

Oh. My. You won’t miss potatoes...and your family will be requesting this for special occasions, mine does!


We’ve switched from regular salt to sea salt, for health reasons, and use a fraction of what we used to--I still love it, but J. needs to watch his blood pressure. If you want to give sea salt a try, good old McCormick makes a sea salt grinder you can buy in the grocery store–or even from Amazon! You can’t refill it, though.

Roland Sea Salt is romantic as the dickens...”collected from the warm waters of the Mediterranean,” tra la. (I couldn’t taste the Italian flavor in the cauliflower, though!) You can read more about the company, which advertises that they bring the world to you, at Use this crystalline stuff in the coarse form in dishes where it will dissolve on its own, like soups or stews, or grind it fresh, for best flavor...

If you can't find it in your local grocery store, you can find IT on Amazon, too...
Roland Sea Salt Coarse Crystals from the Mediterranean Sea - 26.4 oz

And a good grinder’s a necessity, if you use this type of sea salt! I found a couple of likely ones on Amazon–isn’t it amazing what you can find there now? Not just books any more! This one looks like a pretty decent one: Kyocera Ceramic Fine Mill, White Top

J. found an old pepper mill at a thrift store that worked just fine, like my masher, though, so look in antiques malls and thrift stores is a great way to find tools that do exactly what you need, without the bells and whistles--which means without the noise or the electrical use, either.

Let us know what you think of this, if you try it! We love feedback

And by the way, I used the Uni-ball Signo white gel pen and inexpensive Pelikan gouache for the cauliflower--it's on Canson Mi-Tientes paper.


  1. Oh, I love cauliflower cooked this way. You're making me sad I'm on the road--wish I could head into the kitchen and fix some right now. When I get home...

    Your cauliflower looks beautiful on that dark background, Kate--and I love that masher.

  2. Thank you! That IS a very cool masher, I love it...

  3. Lovely sketches Cathy...and I have exactly the same masher...from my Mom's kitchen...the only one that really WORKS! This is a great recipe..I might skip the garlic...lately I have trouble digesting it? But still a good recipe, as it can be changed..

  4. Thank you, Ronelle! A friend asked me if black garlic might be substituted as it was milder, and I have to admit I've never used it (or heard of it!) Elephant garlic is milder, I believe...

    But oh my yes, any changes are fair game...can you digest onion?

    I have two other mashers, but that's the one I depend on! I used it last night to mix meatloaf components.

  5. Kate when I read about your cauliflower I had to try the cauliflower in my Broccoli cheese soup tonight. And oh my was it good. I'll be posting it soon. Plus I'm going to give the mashed cauliflower a try. I have some of the yellow cauliflower right now.

  6. OMG! I only just caught up with you and I've bookmarked you for sure. Tracked you through Flickr where you are one of my contacts. As a widower trying to keep up my late wife's good eating habits I need constant motivation. I'm going to try your bread recipe too. Thanks for sharing this with us.
    John ("Picky painter" on Flickr)

  7. Glad to help, John! You have to take care of yourself, too. (I know it's not easy, I was a widow for 11 years!)

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