Garlic Cauliflower Puree with Greek Yogurt: A Dip, A Soup, A Sauce and Mashed Potatoes All in One!
Cauliflower is in season! And it will last us through the winter. One of my favorite vegetables–and so easy to prepare! There are lots of ways to steam, stir fry, boil and bake it to perfection, but the most versatile cooking method is to steam and then puree it. Through subtle variations in the mixture, you can create a healthy alternative to white cream sauce on pasta; a great dip for chips, crackers or other veggies; a delicious soup; or a low-carb additive to or replacement for mashed potatoes. Simply steaming and then grating cauliflower (or processing it roughly in your food processor) produces a nice alternative to rice, as well. Fantastic stuff, that cauliflower! I think I like it so much, I just might marry it.
In the above photo, we’ve created our cauliflower puree with added cream and served it on top of whole wheat pasta with a combination of onions, eggs, turkey bacon and spinach. We sprinkled some blue cheese on top, for an added punch. This makes a delicious and healthy pasta carbonara! Just create the cauliflower puree below, and serve it hot on top of pasta with some bacon, onions, and frozen spinach cooked to perfection in your cast iron.
Ingredients for Cauliflower Puree
Optional Ingredients Depending on Your Taste and What You’re Serving it With….
I often eat the puree straight up, hot, with a spoon. I feel like I’m digging into a big pile of creamy mashed potatoes, but without all of that starch. If I thin it down and add mushrooms and onions sauteed in butter, plus a little extra cream and milk, it forms a delicious soup. The perfect way to keep warm and full for the winter.
So, how do you make this puree? Simple. If you’re using frozen bags of cauliflower florets, just pour them into a steamer over boiling water or cook them in your rice cooker. If you’ve got a head of cauliflower, cut it into manageable pieces and then place into the steamer. Add 3-4 cloves of garlic, crushed, with the skins removed. Steam until soft. Jab a fork into the stems to make sure they’re soft enough. Let them cool slightly, just until you can handle them.
Place the steamed cauliflower and garlic in your blender or food processor. I wish we had a food processor! But our blender works just as well as long as I talk real nice to it and add a little extra liquid. Add a bit of water, milk and/or cream along with the Greek yogurt. Pulse until smooth. In-between pulses, push the cauliflower chunks down towards the blades with a spatula or wooden spoon. Keep at it until the mixture is smooth.
The mixture will have a grainy texture, but should be fairly even. Add olive oil, salt, pepper, dill, and any other desired ingredients and blend until smooth. Thin it as desired, depending on how you plan to eat/serve it. You can drizzle a bit of olive oil and garnish with chives and/or cilantro before serving.
Besides the benefits to your digestion that Greek Yogurt can provide due to its natural microbes, this mixture is really good for you and very filling. I love checking out the stats on nutritiondata.self.com. Here’s the link for Cauliflower: http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2391/2, which rates very highly in terms of fullness-factor and nutrition. It also ranks 74% in terms of its nutrient balance completeness score and ranks 102 on the amino acid protein scale, with all amino acids present. It’s freakin’ amazing for you. It’s a complete protein! And with the addition of Greek Yogurt, a bit of oil, butter, cream and spices, it tastes like heaven on earth. What are you waiting for?