Roasted Garlic and Asiago Mashed Cauliflower

For recently starting this blog, I was worried that adding another mash recipe was a bit much, but I just had to share this delicious roasted garlic and asiago mashed cauliflower! You see although it might have a white and rather boring appearance, this cauliflower mash is packing major flavor. First there is the roasted garlic, which is arguably one of the best tasting things in life. Roasting mellows the bite of the garlic, gives it an umami edge, and brings this toasty warmth to the flavor. It is at once intensely garlicky but without all the sharpness and in it’s place: a subtle savory-sweetness.

Some aged asiago cheese adds creaminess, a little bit of funk, saltiness, and plenty of umami. Aged asiago is similar to parmesan in flavor but more mild and a bit fruity and sweet. You could sub with any aged cheese that you enjoy. 

Cauliflower mash is one of my favorite sides because it reminds me so much of mashed potatoes but with a lighter texture due to virtually no starch. Plus, the whipping action of the food processor gives it some airiness. That said, using roasted garlic, butter, and some sour cream gives all the flavor you find in a well seasoned mashed potato. For me, I feel better after eating this because it is lighter and easier on the digestive system. My secret to making a cauliflower mash with a nice mash texture (versus a puree) is steaming. When you steam it until just fork tender, the flavor stays more neutral than roasting the cauliflower (like potato) but it avoids becoming water logged, and thus mushier, when boiled. This my friends is the secret – steam until just fork tender and it has enough body to process into a dense puree, like super velvety mashed potatoes but just a smidge lighter. Ain’t nothing bad to say about it!

Roasted Garlic and Asiago Mashed Cauliflower

Servings: about 4

Time: 1 hour

Ingredients:

  • one head of garlic (about the size of your palm)
  • 16 ounces of cauliflower florets (I used frozen, it is easier!)
  • 2 tbsp. butter 
  • 2 tbsp. sour cream (I used full fat)
  • 4 ounces of shredded aged asiago cheese (I used 1 year aged)
  • salt
  • pepper

How-to:

  1. Roast the garlic; chop off the ‘head’ or about 1/4 inch from the top of the garlic so the cloves are exposed. Top with some cooking oil and wrap in foil. Bake in the oven at 400 for 40 minutes or until golden-brown, soft, and super fragrant. When the garlic is done cooking pull from the oven and set aside to cool. 
  2. Steam the cauliflower until fork tender. For frozen cauliflower, this takes 7-8 minutes. 
  3. By the time the cauli is done steaming, the garlic should be cool enough to handle. Squeeze the roasted garlic cloves from the bottom to release them. Place into a food processor along with the steamed cauliflower, butter, sour cream, and shredded asiago cheese. Process until completely smooth, scraping down sides as needed. 
  4. Add salt to taste, the amount will depend on if you used salted butter and how salty your cheese was. Optionally, add black pepper.

Notes:

  • It is easy to reheat this cauliflower mash. Simply add a tablespoon or two of water/milk/cream and heat, covered, in a sauce pan on medium-low until warm. 
  • Cauliflower mash freezes beautifully without virtually any loss in flavor or texture. Follow the instructions above to re-heat (once thawed).

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