A good thing to remember is that cauliflower already has a naturally high water content and is fairly low in starch. For this reason, I prefer to steam my cauliflower so as not to introduce any more liquid than necessary to the equation. Roasting works well too, as it evaporates some of the water, but I tend to like the bright flavor of the steamed cauliflower and the ease of the stove top use. I know you might be thinking “but I want my cauliflower mash to be flavorful, not bland!” Don’t worry, your mash can have flavor and fluff too! But ONLY if you don’t overcook it! We’ll talk about cooking times in the recipe below.
Perfect Paleo Cauliflower Mash
1 large head of cauliflower (if head is small you may need 1 1/2 to 2)
2-3 Tablespoons fat, I like to use 50/50 bacon fat and ghee
Coarse Sea Salt & pepper to taste (a must for great flavor)
Optional: dried herbs like chives, marjoram or Italian seasoning, even crumbled bacon.
Chopped Parsley for Garnish
1. Fill a medium sized pot (fitted with a steamer basket) about 1/4-1/3 full of water. You want to give it room to boil without hitting the bottom of the basket. Do not pre-boil the water! Just leave it there till ready to use.
2. Cut the cauliflower into small evenly sized florets, trimming off the thick ends. You can keep the ends for salads, soups or whatever – you will have a fluffier mash if you cut them all the way off. Add the cauliflower to the basket but do not overstuff or the cooking time could be longer. Cover with the lid.
3. Turn burner to medium/high heat, put the pot on, and set the timer for about 11 minutes.
IMPORTANT – DO NOT OVERCOOK! It may seem like the cauliflower isn’t cooked through enough, but it is. The cauliflower should be soft enough to break up if pressed with a wooden spoon, but it should not be mushy at all. If you let the cauliflower get too soft it will just end up as a runny mess instead of a fluffy mash once pureed. If it is too under-cooked it will be grainy. Eleven minutes works every time for me, however, times could vary slightly from steamer to steamer and burner to burner.
4. Remove from heat and immediately add the cauliflower and the fat to a food processor or high-powered blender. Process on high till very smooth. This could take a few minutes so be patient! Stop the processor if needed and stir to get all the cauliflower pieces blended in.
5. As the mash gets smoother, add salt. pepper, and any dried herbs that you like, then continue pureeing until smooth. If your texture is too thick or grainy, add a bit more fat and continue to blend, just don’t overdo it on the fat!
6. Transfer to a bowl and add more salt to taste. Cool slightly as it can be extremely hot and bonus, it will thicken some as it cools too.
7. Garnish with chopped parsley and cracked pepper – Serve and enjoy!