Wednesday, August 7, 2013
Creamy Cauliflower Sauce
My non-cauliflower-loving children leerily watched me make this and then declared that it smelled so good, they wanted to taste it straight from the blender. I gave each of them a spoonful and they immediately asked for more. One of the first comments from my boys was, "oh, mom! what are you going to do with this sauce? I bet it would be great for macaroni and cheese!"
This sauce has an amazing flavor, an unforgettable, rich and creamy, buttery garlic loaded flavor that I just can't get enough of. While it is similar to traditional Italian white sauce in both taste and texture, it is still made from cauliflower. And while my children raved over it (despite their former dislike of cauliflower), it does have a hint of cauliflower flavor beneath the buttery garlic. So, don't expect a traditional alfredo flavor. That said, right now I'd choose this over any other white sauce. The fact that it is a healthier option? That's just a huge bonus.
I made the sauce again twice in the same week, because I couldn't stop thinking about it. I've served this sauce over baked chicken and sauteed vegetables; I stirred it into pasta and cheesy rice too. I poured a batch into jars and it kept nicely in the refrigerator until I was ready to use it.
I ran across this recipe a few months ago on Pinch of Yum. Like many other awesome recipes and food ideas, I put it on my list and then added another 100 or so ideas to the list above and below it. This recipe would not be forgotten though. It kept popping up on Pinterest and taunting me on Facebook. Lindsay is even writing a cookbook centered around recipes using this sauce. Is the sauce really worth all this discussion? Yes. Undoubtedly, YES.
Creamy Cauliflower Sauce
recipe barely adapted from Pinch of Yum
Yield: 4 cups
1 large head of cauliflower, about 5 cups small florets
6 cups water
2 tablespoons butter
8 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1/4 cup milk
Optional: tablespoon of olive oil, sprinkling of Parmesan
Place the water and the cauliflower in a large pot and bring to a boil. Simmer for 5-7 minutes, until the cauliflower is fork tender. Do not drain. Saute the garlic with the butter in a small skillet over medium low heat. Cook for a few minutes, until the garlic is fragrant and soft.
Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cooked cauliflower to the blender. Add 1 cup of the cooking liquid from the cauliflower, along with the cooked garlic and butter from the skillet, the salt and the pepper. Puree until completely smooth. Depending on how powerful your blender is, this could take a few minutes. Add the milk and pulse to combine. You can adjust the milk according to how liquid you want the sauce to be. 1/4 cup was perfect for me. If you won't be serving this immediately, let cool and transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate until needed. Serve hot. Enjoy!
FREEZER MEAL: Portion the cooled sauce into freezer safe containers or ziploc freezer bags. Thaw completely in the refrigerator before reheating in a skillet over low heat on the stove-top, stirring frequently.
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