First, you must understand: I think that mashed potatoes are the perfect food. Nice ones, not too lumpy, not too watery and made of real potatoes. Extras, like garlic, are nice but not really necessary. Boiled potatoes, some butter, some cream and some seriously vigorous mashing and I am a very happy person.
So when epicurious.com readers declared cauliflower puree, "just as good as mashed potatoes" I was understandably wary. But I had been looking for something to do with the lovely white cauliflower we'd picked up at our last farmer's market, and you could add garlic, cream and butter, so I decided to give it a try.
You start by boiling chopped cauliflower for ten minutes in water and milk and garlic. Then you drain (saving the broth) and roast the florets in the oven for 10 minutes at 250 degrees. At this point, you toss the cauliflower in the blender with some of the broth, and puree. Boyfriend seemed aghast at this. It turns out he's something of a blender virgin (Seriously? In this day and age?) and hot vegetables and broth offended his delicate sensibilities.
We wound up with something that looked like rice pudding, and that didn't taste like mashed potatoes at all. I considered adding more butter, more cream, more garlic, but I soon realized that I was considering a cream and butter soup with a cauliflower base. This goes against the spirit of the current vegetable theme, which is to let the veggies speak for themselves with minimal assistance. Anyway, Boyfriend loved it, eating the last half of mine as well as his own. Me, not so much. I doubt I'll make it again.
But the veggies were not a complete failure. When in doubt, listen to the gospel of JC (Julia Child) we had her carrots. I don't remember the French, but the dish consisted of boiled carrots tossed with a glob of butter and some chopped parsley. Delish, fab, and not trying to be something it's not.