Who doesn’t love mashed potatoes? This healthier take–that’s just as hearty–is prepared in much the same way (boiling the main ingredients and pulsing them in a food processor), but uses nutrient-rich cauliflower and root vegetables in place of the potato.
With the addition of a head of roasted garlic, this mash makes for a flavorful side dish to accompany your favorite lean protein. Here we’ve used cauliflower, turnips, and rutabagas, but feel free to change up the root vegetables to suit your taste. Check out our suggestions in Recipe Notes.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
1 large head of cauliflower, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 large or 2 small turnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 large or 2 small rutabagas, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces (see Recipe Notes)
1 bulb of garlic with skin intact (see Recipe Notes)
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
Black pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Peel away the garlic bulb’s outer layers, leaving the individual cloves intact. Slice off the top of the bulb so that each clove is exposed and drizzle one tablespoon of olive oil over the exposed tips. Loosely cover in aluminum foil and roast for 35 to 40 minutes or until soft. Let cool, then squeeze the cloves out and set aside.
- While the garlic is roasting, place the cauliflower, turnip, and rutabaga in a large pot with an inch of cold water. Add a teaspoon of salt, cover, and bring to a boil. Boil until the vegetables are fork tender, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Drain. Place the cauliflower between paper towels and squeeze out any excess water (this is an important step. Watery cauliflower will make a watery mash). Return to the pot.
- Add several cupfuls of the vegetables plus the roasted garlic and two tablespoons of olive oil to the food processor. Blend until the mixture is smooth. Continue adding the vegetables in batches until the entire mixture is pureed.
- Transfer back to the pot, add another teaspoon of salt and a few grinds of black pepper, and mix well. Serve immediately topped with ground black pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.
- Turnips, parsnips, and rutabagas can be used somewhat interchangeably and are most similar to potatoes (turnips are a little more bitter than the others). Other options are celery root, which tastes like a cross between a parsnip and celery, and more commonly, carrot or sweet potato. A combination of any of the above should be tasty.
- If you don’t want to forgo potatoes altogether, try half potatoes and half cauliflower or half potato and half parsnip or turnip.
- Cauliflower doesn’t mash as well as potatoes so we recommend using a food processor (versus a fork) to produce a smooth, creamy texture.
- If you’re pressed for time, skip the roasted garlic. Throw one peeled clove into the food processor while pureeing and add additional salt and pepper. Alternatively, sauté two to three cloves of diced garlic in a pan with olive oil and add that instead.
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