Monday, April 15, 2013

Creamy (and Light) Cauliflower Sauce

We love cauliflower and it appears on our dinner menu pretty often.  Raw, steamed, roasted, mashed...we'll happily eat it in any form.  But cauliflower sauce?  I'd never heard of that.  The other day, though, I was reading one of my favorite blogs, Pinch of Yum, and Lindsay was expounding on the virtues of her cauliflower sauce in place of creamy, heavy pasta sauce.  Huh?  Whaaa?  I had to make it.  I mean, immediately!  And I had a head of cauliflower in my fridge because I pretty much always do.


I followed her recipe exactly and, once done, I stood there continually dipping my spoon into the sauce pan and wondering how something this tasty can be so lean.  It tasted like a creamy sauce, albeit a slightly nontraditional one, but not really like cauliflower.  I gave Brian a spoonful to taste without telling him what it was.  He liked it immediately but also couldn't pinpoint the flavor.  We used it that night (or what was left after we kept "tasting" it) on some baked rice but I knew I'd be making it again within a couple of days.

The second time I made it, I intended it as a pasta sauce and jazzed it up with fresh basil and some Parmesan cheese.  So, so good!  This one is definitely a keeper.  And if you're not already reading Pinch of Yum, head on over there for more of Lindsay's great recipes and amazing foreign adventures.  Enjoy!

Ingredients
(Minimally adapted from Pinch of Yum)
1 Head cauliflower, cut into florets
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
4 Cloves garlic, minced
1/2 Cup low fat milk
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1/2 Cup Parmesan cheese, grated
Salt & pepper to taste

Cook the cauliflower florets in a pot of boiling, salted water until very tender.  Remove the florets from the pot when cooked but reserve the cooking liquid.  While the cauliflower is cooking, saute the garlic in the butter in a skillet over very low heat until translucent but not browned.  Set aside.

Working in batches, place the cooked cauliflower in a blender along with one cup of the cooking liquid, the milk and the sauteed butter and garlic.  Blend until smooth.  If the mixture is too thick, you can add a bit more milk or more of the cooking liquid until you have your desired consistency.  Add the sauce to a pot along with the basil and cheese and season to taste.

18 comments:

  1. I've been seeing this everywhere! I would try it but...I know myself and Michael. We hate cauliflower. We'd taste it *sigh*

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  2. I love this idea. Cauliflower is so versatile. I always make cauliflower pizza crust so maybe I need a break from that. Next time I have a head of cauliflower I am for sure trying this. I love to trick my husband into eating more veggies!

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  3. I've heard of doing this before but never tried it...I should I should give it a shot!! I do like cauliflower and I love my cream sauces :)

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  4. Okay, this would make me eat cauliflower! Gorgeous!

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  5. How many servings does this sauce make (estimating that a serving would be approximately 1/2 cup?

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    1. Hi Kelly - The number of servings depends a little on how large the head of cauliflower is and how thin you make the sauce. However, you can safely assume at least 8 half cup servings.

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  6. I'd love to try this. Sounds like a way to have my cake and eat it too!

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  7. We love cauliflower too Anita, and this is such an inventive way to use it. I am hoping we can make this over the weekend. What a great recipe!

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  8. This looks like a very tasty dish - I am glad I saw the pasta before you told us it was cauliflower sauce because I would not have pictured it looking that lovely! YUM!

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  9. I can not wait to try this, I love cauliflower!

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  10. I have never heard of such a thing. We're cauliflower fans at our house. I've got to try this. Pinned!

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  11. Wow, this sounds great. I've been using half cauliflower and half macaroni in my mac and cheese for a while, but I never thought to make an actual pasta sauce of cauliflower. Can't wait to try it.

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  12. This sounds wonderful! Because I lean toward low carb (and because i love cauliflower), I have made cauliflower rice, cauliflower faux mashed potatoes, cauliflower crust, but never sauce. YUM! Do you think it would work the same with frozen cauliflower?

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    1. Hi Wendy - I would think that frozen cauliflower would work. But because it might contain more water, I would hold off adding the cooking liquid to the blender until you see how much is really needed. Good luck.

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  13. Love this recipe! Cant wait to try it out. Thanks for bringing it to Foodie Friends Friday - I am picking it as my host favorite and will be featured Monday the 22nd at Daily Dish Magazine! Yum Yum!!

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  14. So delicious. I just pinned it to make. Thanks for sharing on Thursdays Treasures. This will be a feature.

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  15. Thank you SO much for the recipe! We tried it out a couple weeks ago, and it's definitely one to repeat! I just wrote about this recipe for "Meatless Monday" over on our blog. Cheers! http://youpinspireme.blogspot.ca/2013/08/meatless-monday-attempt-4-gf-pasta-with.html

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