January 07, 2014

Roasted Cauliflower Puree

I'm so lucky to have people in my life who will indulge my food obsessions.  I grew up watching cooking shows on PBS with my Dad, can talk for hours with my Aunts about what to cook, and have one of the best cooking buddies in the entire world, my friend Brad.  We met in college in our intro to engineering class and have been close ever since.  Our junior year, we had a French cooking night where we made duck a l'orange, garlic roasted potatoes, haricot verts, and red wine poached pears.  It is in my top five of meals I've ever made or eaten in my entire life and we still talk about it to this day.

When he moved to the DC area last year, we started cooking together a couple times a month.  Wednesday nights were reserved for our most interesting of culinary creations.  The notable meals have included chorizo spiced mussels, beef wellington, and a fall inspired pork chops with apple cider gravy.    Right before Christmas, we attempted a roasted cauliflower puree that I could not get out of my head.  It was rich, flavorful, and the perfect complement for a great piece of steak!

I had to bring home this dish to my family for Christmas, but I wasn't as pleased with the texture this time around.  I think that our oven may have been a bit hotter than Brad's so the outsides of the florets got the beautiful caramelization provided by roasting but were still a bit "al dente" in the middle.  Not great for a puree.

Being a person who can't let sleeping dishes lie (read: two batches of bacon caramel in one week), I tried one more time.  This time?  I steamed the florets for about 5 minutes, dried them in the oven on a baking sheet at 400 F for five minutes, and then coated them in a little olive oil to roast at 400 F for 10-15 minutes until the florets developed some gorgeous roasted color:

While still warm, I put the (fully cooked!) florets into a food processor and added a little butter, a splash of cream, a couple cloves of roasted garlic, and salt and pepper (white pepper if you've got it).  Buzz it up until you have a smooth puree, adding a little more butter if you want a silkier finishing texture.  The results are incredible, described by my sister as "heavenly."  It's always high praise when a formerly picky eater loves your food; I will never stop delighting in any yum I elicit out of her.

Welcome, Brad, to your first of many posts on Everything in the Kitchen Sink!  Insert obligatory picture of us as babies in college…

Roasted Cauliflower Puree
1 small head of cauliflower, trimmed and cut in small florets
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1-2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
splash of heavy cream
2-3 cloves of roasted garlic
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 F.

Steam the cauliflower florets, covered, for 5 minutes.

Remove and spread out on a foil lined sheet pan.  Bake for 5 minutes at 400 F to dry any excess water on the florets.

Remove from the oven, coat with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.  Roast at 400 F for 10-15 minutes until the florets are caramelized.

While still warm, blend in your food processor with the butter, cream, and roasted garlic.  I pulsed a few times, until I had fine pieces and then let it blend.  Remember to scrape down the sides and the bottom for a smooth puree!

Serve up with your favorite protein and a little pat of butter on top.  Enjoy!


  1. I love cauliflower puree in place of mashed potatoes, and nothing's better than those caramelized bits on roasted vegetables! :)

  2. ahhh ditto! i feel like I need to exercise a little more restraint on how much I roast veggies, I have about 4 posts written out that have "roasted" as the first word.


  3. Puree of cauliflower is a super healthy substitute for mashed potatoes...I've done it often. However, I never roasted them first. Bet the flavor is amazing.

    1. I am still thinking about them this week, and I have a bit of cooking add… The first time I made it there was a little white truffle oil but i honestly prefer without, that's how good the roasted flavor is!

  4. yummm i love cauliflower. Definitely trying this.


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