Pureed cauliflower is a damn fantastic substitute for mashed potatoes – and a phenomenal delivery device for butter…and more butter.
Sexy Cauli Puree
1 head cauliflower, 2 to 2 1/2 pounds
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pull the leaves off the cauliflower and cut out the core in a kind of cone-shaped section. Then pull the florets off the head with your fingers, using a knife when you need to. Break or cut the florets into smaller, regular pieces (about 1 1/2 inch) and put them in the steamer insert. Bring about 1 inch of water to a boil in the steamer pot, add the insert, cover, and cook for about 15 minutes, or until you can poke a paring knife into the stems and you can feel that there’s still a little texture there.
Stir the cauliflower well a few times while it’s steaming so that it cooks evenly.
Dump about half of the cauliflower into a food processor. Measure out 3/4 cup of the steaming liquid, and pour in about 1/4 cup; purée until smooth. Now dump the rest of the cauliflower on top, add about 1/3 of the remaining liquid, and purée again. You’ll need to stop and scrape and stir the purée a few times; add more liquid as you need to, but with the understanding that you really want to add as little liquid as you can get away with. With the motor running, process in the butter, salt, and pepper through the feed tube. Taste for seasoning and serve hot. (You can reheat over low heat in the same pan if you’re not eating immediately.)
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