If you’re going to do one thing to get on a healthy track for 2016, it should be: Eat more vegetables. Happily, that resolution can be an exciting invitation rather than a boring chore, thanks to recipes like this one.
Here, cauliflower is turned into a luxuriously creamy puree with the help of a splash of milk, a smidge of butter and a whir in the food processor. I used low-fat milk, but you could use unsweetened almond milk or another nut milk if you prefer. You can also get a tasty result mashing it with a hand masher, but for the smooth, whipped texture that makes this recipe really luscious, the processor makes all the difference.
The puree is flavored simply, but deeply, with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and a pinch of nutmeg, which amplifies the cheese flavor and brings out its nutty undertones.
It is showered at the end with fresh parsley and black pepper for a dish that will make you doubly glad you are eating your vegetables, because they can taste this good and be good for you.
Parmesan Cauliflower Puree
Servings: 4 (makes about 3 cups)
1 medium head (2 pounds) cauliflower, cored and cut into 1 1/2-inch florets (7 cups)
1/3 cup low-fat milk (1 percent), plus more as needed
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
Generous pinch freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus 4 teaspoons for garnish
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Freshly ground black pepper
Place the cauliflower florets in a steamer basket set over a pot of boiling water. Cover and steam until the cauliflower is just tender, 5 to 7 minutes.
Transfer the cauliflower to a food processor along with 1/3 cup of the milk, the butter, the 1/4 teaspoon of salt and the nutmeg; puree until very smooth. You will need to stop the processor once or twice to scrape the sides with a spatula. Add extra milk a tablespoon at a time, as needed. Immediately add 1/4 cup of the cheese and pulse just until the cheese has melted and is incorporated.
(If you’ve allowed the puree to cool, transfer it to a medium saucepan over low heat, then add the 1/4 cup of cheese, stirring until it has melted.)
Transfer the puree to a serving bowl. Taste, and season with more salt, as needed. Garnish with the remaining 4 teaspoons of cheese, plus sprinklings of parsley and pepper. Serve warm.
Nutrition per serving: 120 calories, 7 g protein, 13 g carbohydrates, 6 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 15 mg cholesterol, 240 mg sodium, 5 g dietary fiber, 5 g sugar