Holidays are sometimes all about compromise. When lots of different people get together in one setting it is often necessary for peace. Food reflects this, and in this case, makes it soooooo good. I’ve always liked very flavorful mashed potatoes but they sit very heavy in my stomach. When I went on the SCD diet, I started making cauliflower mash, which was also very good. However, for some reason whenever I ate it the next day, it tasted sour to me and gave me some indigestion. I decided to try a compromise between the two. I took one cauliflower head and one russet potato to make this Creamy Garlic Cauliflower Potato Mash and it is the perfect compromise. The potato adds some bulk and fluff while the cauliflower helps keep it light.
The flavor comes from infusing the butter with garlic and rosemary or thyme (if desired). I’m thinking sage would also taste pretty good, but I haven’t tried it. You do have to be careful with the rosemary though. I suggest using 2 strands max. Anything more and the rosemary flavor is a little overwhelming.
I always add the sea salt last. When you try the mash before adding the salt, it tastes bland with only a hint of garlic. Sea salt elevates all the flavors and the garlic flavor comes out more.
Food bloggers often don’t make recipes over again. The demands of coming up with new dishes doesn’t leave much time for it. But a couple become staples. So far I’ve made the Creamy Garlic Cauliflower-Potato Mash the most because it tastes so good and is a great side for a lot of dishes. Coming in second, are the Death by Chocolate Brownies with Espresso. I’ve been ordered to make these often (very nicely of course). In third place is the Thai Yellow Curry with Chicken (very tasty and it makes a ton so it’s great for freezing and saving for a lazy day).
But anyways, I feel like I make this every other week and it has officially (by request) been added to the Thanksgiving menu. You can easily make it the day before and reheat it in the microwave or oven, reducing stress inside the kitchen on Turkey Day.
Creamy Garlic Cauliflower Potato Mash
- 1 cauliflower head large
- 1 russet potato
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 4 garlic cloves minced or crushed
- fresh rosemary or thyme optional
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- 1/2 to 1 cup cheddar cheese shredded
- sea salt and pepper to taste
Prep the ingredients. Cut the cauliflower into small florets, peel and cube the potato, mince or crush the garlic, and shred the cheddar cheese.
Bring an inch or two of water to boil in a large pot with a steamer insert. Place the cauliflower and potatoes in the steamer insert, cover, and cook for 10 minutes.
While the veggies are steaming, melt the garlic in a non-stick frying pan on medium heat. Once the butter is hot and bubbling, add the garlic and 1 to 2 small strands of rosemary or 4 to 5 strands of thyme. Cook for about 10 minutes, adjusting the heat when necessary so the garlic doesn’t get crispy or burnt. Swirl the pan often. Take off the heat and cool a little before pulling the rosemary or thyme out, making sure to get the garlic and butter off of them.
Pour the butter and garlic into a blender along with 1 tablespoon heavy cream. Spoon the steamed cauliflower and potatoes into the blender along with the cheddar cheese. Cover and blend on a low or medium setting (I use the 3 on a Vitamix). If your blender comes with a tamper, use it to press the mixture down on the blades. Blend until there aren’t anymore chunks.
Pour into a serving dish and then add salt and pepper to taste.
If you decide to use rosemary, stick to 1 or 2 strands. Anything more than that and the rosemary flavor can be overpowering.
If you have a really powerful blender, like a Vitamix, don’t blend on the really high settings-the end result is more soup-like than mash.
If you don’t have a blender, you can use a food processor. Or you can pour everything in a bowl and mix with an electric beater. If using an electric beater, the cauliflower chunks might be harder to get rid of, so steam the cauliflower and potatoes longer to make it easier.