This roasted cauliflower mash is ultra creamy, buttery, garlicky, herby, and all round irresistible – not to mention it’s a brilliant way to get some extra protein into your meal!
Have you ever tried cauliflower mash? With some added beans for protein, it makes a fantastic, versatile side dish. If you think you don’t like cauliflower… read on!
Roasted cauliflower and bean mash
If you fancy getting a bit of extra protein into your side dishes, this bean and cauliflower mash is just the ticket. It’s easy to make, super versatile, and you can make it as lean or as luxurious as you like.
To start, just roast up a whole head of cauliflower. Roasting the cauliflower not only gives it a great flavour, it also ensures your cauli mash won’t be remotely watery, as can sometimes be the case when using boiled cauliflower.
How to roast cauliflower
I adore roasted cauliflower. I only discovered it a few years ago – until then, I always thought that cauliflower was one of the few vegetables I didn’t like. Turns out, I just didn’t like it boiled into oblivion!
When you roast cauliflower (much like when you roast broccoli), the frilly bits at the top of each floret get ever so slightly charred, giving them an absolutely incredible flavour. It’s nothing at all like the blandness you get when cauliflower is boiled.
To roast your cauliflower, just separate it into florets, drizzle it with a little oil, and pop it in the oven. It doesn’t take long – only 15 minutes or so. You want it to be ever so slightly charred, but not completely burnt!
Cauliflower and bean mash
When you’ve roasted your cauliflower, pop it in a food processor with some white beans and garlic. Blitz it all thoroughly.
At this point, your cauliflower mash will be pretty cold – so it’s time to pop it in a saucepan, and warm it up a bit.
This is also a great opportunity to transform your mash, which will so far be pretty bland, into something really special.
How do you make cauliflower mash really creamy?
It’s time to take your cauliflower mash to the next level.
- and milk too, because why not?
- plenty of salt and pepper
- and more butter, just because
You can pretty much just keep adding stuff to the pan until it tastes as amazing as you’d like – I know not everyone will want to dig into a bowlful of cauliflower mash that’s 90% butter and cream, so just stop when you feel it’s had enough!
Next time I’ll probably add some grated cheese too, because I’m predictable like that. Maybe even some cream cheese. Dairy is your friend here.
Does cauliflower mash taste like mashed potato?
I’m not going to lie to you: no, it doesn’t.
I’m really trying not to refer to this cauliflower mash as an alternative to mashed potato, as I don’t want to mislead anyone: cauliflower mash doesn’t taste like mashed potato, it tastes like cauliflower. Anyone who says otherwise is lying (unless maybe it’s 90% potato and 10% cauliflower, which is hidden in there just to get some extra veg in).
You’re not going to fool anybody into thinking this bean and cauliflower mash is actually mashed potato. But that’s okay! Because it’s not supposed to be mashed potato, it’s supposed to be cauliflower mash – which is amazing in its own right. If you like the flavour of roasted cauliflower, you’ll like this.
Is mashed cauliflower good for you?
Yes! As long as you don’t get toooo carried away with the butter and cream (who, me?), this cauliflower mash is a really lovely, healthy side dish.
It’s packed with fibre – just one portion contains 11g of fibre, which is around 44% of your recommended daily allowance!
The added beans in this recipe also mean that one portion of this mash contains more than 11g of protein (approx. 23% of your RDA) – not half bad for a side dish.
(please note that I am not a dietitian, so for accurate nutrition data, please visit a reliable source like USDA)
How to use roasted cauliflower mash
Despite this cauliflower mash very definitely not being a convincing alternative to mashed potato, it can be used in lots of the same ways.
It’s great simply served as a side dish alongside sausages and peas, or as part of a roast dinner (both very British meals!) – don’t forget plenty of gravy!
You can also dollop your roasted cauliflower mash on top of a vegetarian Shepherd’s pie, and decorate it with a fork – another British meal! Who knew we Brits loved our mash so much.
Roasted cauliflower mash
- 1 medium head cauliflower
- 1 tbsp oil
- 400 g tin cannellini beans, drained (240g, or ~ 1 1/4 cups, when drained)
- 100 ml (~ 1/3 cup) single cream
- 1 clove garlic, peeled
- 1/4 tsp Italian mixed herbs
- 2 tbsp milk
- 1 tbsp butter
- Black pepper
- Remove the leaves from the cauliflower, and cut the head into florets. Spread them out on a baking tray, drizzle with oil, and roast at 190°C (Gas Mark 5 / 375°F) for around 15-20 minutes, until fairly soft and lightly charred.
- Place the roasted cauliflower in a food processor with the beans, cream, garlic and herbs. Blitz thoroughly.
- Transfer the mixture to a saucepan, and add the milk, butter and plenty of salt and pepper. Cook over a medium heat, stirring regularly, for 5-10 minutes, until piping hot. You can add additional butter, cream etc. if you feel it needs it.
Note: Nutritional information is approximate, and will depend on exactly what ingredients you choose. Information above is for 1/3 of the recipe.