As a teen, it occurred to me that I enjoyed food very much. I also realized that eating large amounts of food would lead to weight gain–exactly what a teenage girl wants to avoid. Thus began my love affair with vegetables. I found I could eat lots and lots and lots of veggies and still stay thin. The fact that carrots and broccoli don’t really have the same appeal as ice cream and cake didn’t seem to bother me. I ate veggies with gusto. (Admittedly, I also enjoyed and still enjoy my share of ice cream and cake. It’s all about balance, right?)
To this day, I love to cook with and eat vegetables. Green bell peppers fell off my “like” list after my first pregnancy, but other than that, there’s no vegetable I don’t enjoy.
Enter today’s “recipe.” Cauliflower, a cruciferous veg related to broccoli and cabbage, is beautiful, savory, and delicious whether steamed, roasted, or stir-fried. But it’s also fun to mash. Just steam the florets until tender (in water or broth), then mash along with a touch of sour cream, yogurt, or half-and-half for a silky smooth “puree.” I added a small amount of cooked broccoli left over from the night before to this batch, then whirred it with an immersion blender. The final dish had pretty green flecks throughout. A touch of butter stirred in at the end gives it a hint of salty richness. Or stir in freshly shredded Parmesan. My kids will even eat it.
A note about cauliflower prep: Never one to waste food, I’ve found you can also eat cauliflower stems. (This goes for broccoli as well.) After cutting off the florets, use a small knife to trim the tough outer layer of the stem. You end up with the tender, inner core which is just as edible as the florets.