Regular readers of my blog will likely say to themselves – there she comes AGAIN, with yet another recipe for mashed cauliflower. When is she going to stop? Probably not in the near future, because I keep finding interesting ways to enjoy one of my favorite side dishes. This version turned out pretty tasty, so I must share with you, magnanimous person that I am. I got the idea from a post over at Closet Cooking, and made a few changes to use what I had around in the fridge. The spinach adds a lot in terms of flavor and nutrients. This one will definitely be a regular appearance at our table.
(modified from Closet Cooking)
1 medium head cauliflower, cut into small florets
1 tablespoon olive oil
5 ounces spinach
squeeze of lemon juice (1 or 2 teaspoons)
1/2 cup feta, crumbled
1/4 cup Greek yogurt, full-fat if you can find it (good luck!)
freshly ground nutmeg
almond milk to taste
salt and pepper
fresh chives, minced
Place the cauliflower in a steamer over boiling water and steam until fork tender, about 10 minutes. While the cauliflower cooks, sautée the fresh spinach in olive oil until wilted. Season with salt and pepper, add a little lemon juice and reserve. Place the cooked cauliflower in the bowl of a food processor. Add the feta cheese, yogurt, nutmeg, salt and pepper, and process until well combined. Add the reserved spinach, process for a few seconds. If too thick add almond milk until you reach the right consistency. The puree can be warmed up for a minute in the microwave if the cold ingredients added to it cooled it down too much, but probably it will not be necessary.
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I loved this take on cauliflower puree so much that I made it again the following week, using kale instead of spinach, and adding a little bit of sun-dried tomato to the mix. It turned out almost great, but not quite. A few details that I should have paid more attention to compromised the quality of the dish. I used chopped kale, pre-bagged, thinking it would make my life a lot easier. Well, it did, but it didn’t. In the bagged version, the stems are chopped together with the leaves, so because I cooked them very little to preserve that nice bright green color, the stems were a bit tough. Not pleasant in the middle of the smooth cauliflower puree. So, my advice is to either go for spinach, or if you like the assertive taste of kale, buy the leaves, and chop them. If the food police is not around, you can discard the stems, but if you have guilty feelings about it, cook the kale in two steps, stems first, leaves at the end.
This is such a nice side dish, it goes well with almost anything, from seafood to beef, and leftovers keep well in the fridge. I bet they could be wonderful made into little fritters, adding an egg, maybe a bit of almond flour. This spinach version I shared today we enjoyed a while ago with Chicken Thighs with Roasted Tomato Salsa. The kale variation was matched with another interesting recipe from Cooking Light magazine, which I shall blog about in the near future: a Cremini Mushroom Meatloaf, which is actually a lot more mushroom than meat. Great recipe, stay tuned… 😉
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