Mashed Cauliflower and Potatoes with Garlic and Sage
1 medium head cauliflower, leaves removed, cut in 1″ pieces, include core and stems
2 lbs potatoes, either Yukon gold or red, cut into 2” cubes with skins on
1 bulb garlic, roasted in oil – directions follow
1 stick butter or 1/2 cup earth balance
1 to 2 tablespoons fresh sage, minced
sea salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Optional – 4 oz grated cheese (about 1 cup). Choose a hard or medium hard cheese for this.
Some suggestions are: asiago, parmesan, locatelli, manchego, fontina, cheddar, fontal
Roast the garlic
Preheat the oven to 375º
Peel cloves of garlic and put them in a ramekin. Add olive oil enough to cover the cloves of garlic.
Put the ramekin on a cookie sheet and roast garlic in the oven for up to 10 minutes. Oil should be bubbling but the garlic should not be browning.
When the garlic is done remove cloves from the oil and set aside. Keep this oil to use for cooking but use quickly or it will go off.
Boil the cauliflower
Bring a pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the cauliflower and simmer until cauliflower is tender – between 10 and 15 minutes.
When cauliflower is done use a spider strainer to remove it and place in a colander that sits on a bowl to catch and water as it drips off.
Save the water for soup stock.
Line a cookie sheet with several layers of clean dishtowels. After the cauliflower has drained well put it on the towels to dry a bit more.
This part is important since the dish will be too wet if the cauliflower isn’t dry enough.
Boil the potatoes
While the cauliflower is cooking put the potatoes in a pot and cover with about 2 ½ quarts water. Add 2 teaspoons sea salt.
Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat and simmer until the potatoes are tender.
When potatoes are done drain in a colander (I usually don’t save this water).
Mix the ingredients
While the potatoes are still hot put all the ingredients: potatoes, cauliflower, butter or Earth Balance, garlic, sage and cheese, if you’re using it, into a food processor and pulse until creamy. Taste and add sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Pulse again.
Be careful not to pulse this too much or the potatoes become gooey.
I like this dish a little chunky so I’m happy to have bits of cauliflower and potato.
If you don’t have a food processors put all the ingredients in a bowl and mash with a potato masher.
Variations on a theme:
Put the mashed cauliflower and potatoes into a casserole dish and place in a 350° oven and bake till it becomes brown on top.
Add any herbs you like: herbs d’Provence, thyme, marjoram, rosemary are nice choices.