Have you ever read a recipe and just started to crave it from the ingredients list? Recently, that happened to me. And I know just what you're thinking: Wait, why is this post labeled "Cauliflower Mash" because, seriously, has she gone daft? (Um, yes, well a little. But I've been that way for a long time.) Because who seriously reads the ingredients of something called Cauliflower Mash, as in the mash of cauliflowers; and then craves it?
Well, I mean, hear me out. Cheese. Let's start with that one. It's easy to love right. And olive oil. Garlic. Hard to go too wrong with minced garlic, right?
And then it had these wholesome, interesting-sounding things like white beans and cornmeal. They kind of intrigued me.
And the truth is that I've had cauliflower in a variety of delicious ways and always like it. But the other truth is that I've had versions of this on my Pinterest board for, oh, well, forever. Because, as per our discussion. Cauliflower. Mash.
I wasn't sure how it would really go over with the minions (and P.S., it didn't). But it was so gloriously delicious that even after making it, I'm still craving. It just hit a savory, nutritious spot that just met a need. Like, a wholesome friend, who's also really fun.
Don't make the same mistake I did. Don't let this sit on your Pinterest board for millennia. Make it. Love it. Serve it with meat if you must.
adapted from Pinch of Yum
Prep and cook time: 15-20 minutes
Cost: $3.20 (that's $.50 for something a 40-year-old woman could totally eat for lunch. Teenagers and men cannot be accounted for in this reckoning and this will likely be a mere side dish to them. But us old ladies--this is all we need for a filling, well-rounded meal)
cauliflower: 1.50, milk: .15, chicken broth: .30, cornmeal: .10, cheese: .40, white beans: .60, other stuff: .15
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 C milk
2 C chicken broth (you might need another if your mash is too thick; I added about 1/2 C more)
1/2 C cornmeal
1/2 C shredded cheese (I used sharp cheddar and I did not regret it)
1 14-oz can white beans, drained and rinsed (optional)
1 tsp salt (or to taste)
Heat the olive oil in a skillet with a lid or a 3-quart pot. Add the cauliflower. Mix it and sprinkle it with salt. Let it cook for a few minutes. It won't get tender, but will get a little flavor.
Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the milk and chicken broth. Simmer (with lid on, so a low temperature is best) until the cauliflower is soft. When it is, mash it up.
Then add the cornmeal and stir. It will thicken, and the cornmeal is not exactly tastable, but kind of there, adding yumminess and nuttiness and thickness. If you need to, add more chicken broth.
Now, if you want, you can add that can of beans. (Note: In the original recipe, they told me to mash the beans. I did the first time I made this, but didn't love the mashed beans. Better to just leave them whole so you don't get a weird bean skin thing happening in you mash.) They add protein and make this a lovely complete meal on its own. (Though this is also really good with meat; we had it with shrimp and it was amazing.)
Add the cheese, mix it up, and let it melt. Add more salt and pepper if needed.