What else could I want?
I don’t care what you do to it, I have yet to find a honest recipe for making cauliflower take on the texture of creamy mashed potatoes. Oh yeah, the one with a whopping bowl of thick cheesy béchamel binding it all together is pretty darn good, but no way is it like eating a bowl of starchy thick, elastic mashed potatoes. The thing about trying to make mashed cauliflower behave like such means adding a ton of calories and fat yet without the desired result of a healthier side dish.
Well, for this recipe, I am forgoing the textural desire and going for taste all within keeping down calories and fat, a little. This recipe got a B+ from Calorie Count.
Good Better-for-You Cauliflower Gratin
6-8 cups cauliflower florets, 1 large head
3 garlic toes, crushed and minced
3 tablespoons margarine
1 tablespoon reduced fat cream cheese spread with chives
1/3 cup low fat small curd cottage cheese
pinch of cayenne if desired
1/2 teaspoon chicken bouillon
1/4 cup finely diced celery
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh basil
1/4 cup natural mild shredded cheese
few grinds of the pepper mill
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Steam the florets over boiling water covered for about 5-6 minutes. Remove half of the florets to a bowl and continue steaming remaining for 5-6 minutes or until tender. Remove and place on towel to drain.
In a 2-quart flat bottom casseroled dish, mash the fully cooked portion of the florets with the garlic, margarine, cream cheese, cottage cheese, cayenne and bouillon until desired texture mixing well. Fold in the celery, basil and nestle in the remaining florets. Bake covered for 25 minutes.
Sprinkle with the cheese and bake another 5 minutes uncovered or until cheese melts and begins to brown.
Note: I have made this twice within a 2 week period, that is how much we liked it. Though I left the above recipe as I first wrote it, the last time, I returned it to the oven while the temperature was off and left it in the oven to dry out a bit. The first time seemed a little too moist. If any one has a way to thicken the sauce without adding calories, please let me know…