Don’t let anyone fool you, mashed cauliflower on its own always tastes a bit wet and cabbagey. And gritty. I understand why people make it, I do. It’s mock mashed potatoes… faux-tatoes for a fraction of the calories.
Cauliflower is super healthy, low calorie, and can be pretty darn delicious as a side, cozied up next to meatloaf, or tucked under stroganoff. But it doesn’t have that same silkiness, that same smooth fluffiness that a mashed potato does. It’s squashier. And if you haven’t already noted it, I do make up words in my spare time. I also think about the dynamic science and structure of mashed potatoes. I have loads of friends.
In an effort to make something light and lovely texture-wise, I combined the two. The cauliflower keep things light, while the potatoes lend to a nice pasty mash to keep things smooshed together. Then I added two of my favorite ingredients to enrich the flavor and make the dish feel less like the poor man’s buttery mashed potato, and more like a unique, healthy spin on comfort food. Sour cream and parmesan cheese. Both give these guys a smooth, creamy richness. A buttery and satisfying smoothness.
Parmesan Mashed Cauliflower
- 1 head cauliflower cut into florets, trimmed of as much of the stems as possible
- 1 large russet potato peeled and cut into 1" cubes
- 1/4 cup full-fat sour cream
- 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Fill a large pot with about an inch and a half of water. Fit with a steamer basket and put the cauliflower and potatoes inside.
- Cover, bring the water to a boil, and steam until very tender and easily pierced with a fork, about 15 minutes. Drain well and return the cooked vegetables to the empty pot on the stove top with the heat turned off.
- Allow them to stand for about 3 minutes so that the water can evaporate and the cauliflower can dry out.
- Add sour cream, Parmesan, salt, and pepper, and mash until smooth. Serve with minced fresh chives.