Cauliflower Puree with Sauteed Leeks

Looks like mashed potatoes, right????

I think that cauliflower is an extremely "underestimated" vegetable. If there were a "Tug O' War" rope fighting over this veg, I would be on the side rooting on "give it a try!".

It just so happens that at a past dinner party, a guest happily forked at the velvety-side in accompany to his salmon and remarked, "Lesley, these mashed potatoes are delicious. What did you do to them?"

My response, "Thank you, but it's cauliflower."

My guest, perplexed and bewildered, dumbfoundedly gazed at me as if he were asking me, "how could this be? It can't be cauliflower!"

I gave the "eyebrow-raised, smile on the face, 'fooled-you' " look right back at him, affirming that yes, in fact what he thought were mashed potatoes was CAULIFLOWER.

At this point, other guests began to question me, and then each other; was this really cauliflower? It was like utter befuddlery.

But the truth of the matter was I had made a side dish of cauliflower puree with sauteed leeks that most people discerned as mashed potatoes.

Deliciously nutritious, this cauliflower puree has become a staple in my house - the sauteed leeks only make this smooth puree even more flavorful. Move over, mashed potatoes, there is a new side in town.


12 - 16 oz cauliflower florets, broken up into similar sized pieces
1 garlic clove
1-2 thyme sprigs
1/2 -3/4C chicken broth
1/4 C heavy cream or milk
2T (1oz) butter
salt and pepper

1 leek, dark green removed, sliced down middle and cut into 1/4" slivers
2T (1oz) butter
salt and pepper

In a medium saute pan, add cauliflower, garlic, thyme, and chicken broth. Heat over medium high heat until broth begins to boil. Cover and reduce heat to low and allow cauliflower to simmer in broth, about 5-7 minutes, until cauliflower is extremely tender. Remove from heat (discard thyme and save or discard garlic).

Meanwhile, for the leeks, heat another saute pan with the butter over medium heat and add the leeks, seasoning with salt and pepper. Cook the leeks slowly to allow them to caramelize gently, about 10 minutes. Remove pan from heat.

While leeks are sauteeing, add cooked cauliflower, excess liquid, garlic clove (optional), butter, and cream or milk to food processor and process until smooth. It should look like mashed potatoes.

Season with salt and pepper to taste.

To reheat, add puree back to a saute pan over medium to medium low heat and add the sauteed leeks; fold all together and season again with salt and pepper.


  1. i love this recipe, although, i should admit that i replaced the low fat milk with creme fraiche and added more garlic. yum! in the AM, i foled the leftovers into my omlete. divine!!

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