Garlic Smashed Cauliflower

Looks like smashed potatoes beside the meatloaf, doesn't it? I've been trying to find ways to incorporate more veggies into our meals and find ways to cook them so they don't taste green. After this meal, Harry said the garlic smashed cauliflower was tasty. He'll never say anything like "Oh - I just love smashed cauliflower! Can we have it for dinner tonight?" But, I know that if I throw this into the mix every couple of weeks, he won't turn up his nose.

I think it was ingenious to introduce the garlic smashed cauliflower with a main dish that he associates with smashed potatoes. We never have smooth potatoes - I just use a potato masher and leave some texture in them. So, it made sense to me to leave some texture in the cauliflower.

I found a recipe from nomnompaleo for "Garlic Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes" via Pinterest

While she pureed the steamed cauliflower and garlic, it was good inspiration for me and the recipe is fast and easy. I also cheated a bit - I got the bag of cauliflower florets at Kroger. I was worried that a whole head would make too much and we wouldn't like it. Twelve-ounce bag? No leftovers!

I've written before about how much we love garlic - I never would have thought of steaming it with the cauliflower even though I make garlic smashed potatoes often. The garlic was actually balanced with the strong cauliflower taste - neither was overwhelming. Feel free to adjust the volume of the cauliflower and/or garlic at will.

Garlic Smashed Cauliflower

12 ounce bag cauliflower florets
5 cloves garlic, peeled
kosher salt
fresh ground black pepper
2 tablespoons butter

Clean the cauliflower and slice like you would mushrooms - stems and all. Coarsely chop the garlic.

In a large saucepan to fit your steamer, bring 2 inches of water to a boil. While the water is heating, place half of the cauliflower and garlic into the bottom of your steamer basket. Sprinkle with kosher salt. Add the rest of the vegetables to the basket and sprinkle once again with kosher salt.

Reduce the heat to medium and place the steamer basket into the pot and cover. You don't want to cook the cauliflower to mush, so it should be fork-tender in about 10 minutes.

Drain the cauliflower and garlic and place in a serving bowl. Using a potato masher or immersion blender, smash the cauliflower to desired texture. Add butter and pepper to taste, mixing well.

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