1Medium-sized head of cauliflower, chopped into florets (about 1 1/2-2 lbs.)
1tablespoonextra-virgin olive oil
6garlic cloves, minced
1teaspoonfresh thyme leaves
salt and pepper, to taste
Fill a large saucepan with about an inch of water, and insert a steamer basket. Bring the water to a boil, and add the cauliflower florets. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cover, allowing the cauliflower to steam for 10 minutes, or until fork tender.
Drain the cauliflower and set it aside. Return the pan to the heat and add in the olive oil and garlic. Saute briefly, just until the garlic is softened and fragrant, about 2 minutes.
Transfer the cauliflower and garlic to the bowl of a large food processor fitted with an "S" blade. Season with salt and pepper, and the fresh thyme. (I start with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and about 5 grinds of the pepper mill.)
Process until the mixture is smooth and resembles mashed potatoes. You can add a splash of water if needed, but usually the cauliflower already has enough moisture that you won't need it. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more salt if desired. You can also stir in cheese or hummus at this point, for extra creaminess.
Serve warm (you can return the prepared mash to the pan to heat up again, if needed) with gravy on top, if desired. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
This mashed cauliflower dish makes a great base for any of your favorite add-ins. If you prefer cheesy mashed potatoes, try adding 2-3 ounces of creamy goat cheese, or a sprinkling of nutritional yeast for a vegan variation. You could also add in some extra chives and a few spoonfuls of plain goat yogurt for a "sour cream & onion" flavor. The options are endless! Also, be sure to note the serving size on this recipe. One medium head of cauliflower only made enough to serve two people in our house-- we love to heap it onto our plates! If you're serving a bunch of mashed potato fans, you may want to double or triple this recipe, to be on the safe side.