For a long time these beautiful purple cauliflowers were eyeing me in the produce section of the grocery store and now at least one of them has become a Purple Cauliflower Mash with Gruyere.
Here is the good the bad and the purple. The good; it is definitely a cauliflower, only after a purple rain. Don’t you have that, when you say the word ‘purple’ you’re thinking ‘purple rain’. The good, because we like cauliflower and not only because of its nutritional benefits, also because of the flavor and what we can do with it. The bad? Clearly the smell, cauliflower is definitely not a vegetable I would cook when I have company coming, the aroma in the house is not inviting. The purple, the color is really purple, in the raw form, in the cooked form and even in the mash form.
This is the ‘before picture’ and at the top of the post you see the ‘after picture’. You see that the cauliflower loses a little bit of the vibrant purple; it becomes a little duller, but heck, would you look the same after cooking and mashing? Talking about mashing; you can mash it or blend it; I chose the first in order to have some texture and to avoid ending up with babyfood texture.
My choice of cheese was one with enough flavor to add something to a relatively blend vegetable. I used cave-aged Gruyere, this one has more flavor than a regular Gruyere and since Cauliflower is not known for having a lot of presence, other than with aroma, I thought a flavorful cheese is just what the mash needs. You can serve the Purple Cauliflower Mash with Gruyere with meat, fish, or chicken. Make the cheese part of your dish flavorful to counter the cauliflower, even with the cheese.
Purple Cauliflower Mash with Gruyere
- 1 small head purple cauliflower
- 8 ounces Gruyere cheese
- salt and pepper
- cream optional
- Cut the cauliflower in small florets and wash it.
- Steam or cook the cauliflower. Steaming will take more time, around 20 minutes or even 25 if you want the cauliflower to be very soft.
- Grate the Gruyere cheese.
- When the cauliflower is cooked, drain it. Keep a cup of cooking liquid, just in case.
- Mash the cauliflower or use a (hand) blender to make is superfine. Return the cauliflower to the pan.
- Add the cheese to the cauliflower and mix it. Keep it warm until the cheese melted and binds the cauliflower.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- If the mixture is too thick, add some cream or cooking liquid.