Cauliflower Puree

Do not adjust the color on your monitor. That cauliflower is indeed, that yellow. It’s called a “cheddar cauliflower.”

You’d think I wouldn’t care for cauliflower since it’s in the same family as Brussels sprouts. But so is kale, and I love kale.

I must like cauliflower. I keep writing about it.

I especially like this orangey-yellow cheddar cauliflower. Not because it tastes dramatically different than white cauliflower — it doesn’t. I like it because it’s colorful.

I decided to steam it, puree it, and pair it with sun-dried tomatoes and Parmesan. Cauliflower is bland by itself, so it needs strong flavors to perk it up.

I prefer steaming over boiling when making vegetable purees. Why?

The resulting puree is less watery. Boiled vegetables take on a lot more water than what’s naturally present in the vegetable. Steamed vegetables don’t.

A food processor won’t puree the mixture as smooth as a blender, but you’d need a lot more liquid than what I’m using here to get a blender (even a Vita-Mix) to puree this mixture.

If this was The French Laundry, we’d be pressing this puree through a tamis for an ultra-smooth puree.

Fortunately, it’s just Chef Gwen’s kitchen, and we’re not going to that much trouble. The food processor will do a good enough job.

Minced sun-dried tomatoes with fresh parsley and put a dollop on top. You could mix it right in, but it looks prettier as a garnish. Just because we’re not a top restaurant doesn’t mean we don’t want our food to look good, right?

Either way, it tastes way better than plain old steamed cauliflower. In fact, it tastes just like a fancy-schmancy restaurant side dish.

Pureed Cauliflower with Sun-Dried Tomatoes & Parmesan

Serves 4

1 head cauliflower
1/4 cup chicken or vegetable stock
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
2 or 3 tablespoons heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, drained and minced
2 tablespoons chopped parsley

1. Cut the cauliflower into florets. Steam until tender, about 15-20 minutes.

2. Place florets in a food processor. Pour in stock and puree. Scrape down sides.

3. Sprinkle with Parmesan, drizzle with cream and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Puree again until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl once or twice.

4. Return puree to a pan and gently reheat over low heat until hot.

5. Taste and add more salt or pepper if desired. Portion onto four plates and garnish with sun-dried tomatoes and parsley.

1 reply
  1. Dana Treat
    Dana Treat says:

    Gwen, that looks delicious! I don’t think I have ever had cauliflower pureed! I love it just about every other way so I’m sure I would love this. And the sun dried tomatoes on top are perfect I’m sure.


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