Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Creamy Cauliflower Sauce

Creamy Cauliflower Sauce recipe by Barefeet In The Kitchen
I'm introducing you today to the creamy, garlicky white sauce that has completely floored me. Don't let the cauliflower in the title scare you away. Seriously, this sauce is so fantastic; I made it for the first time and couldn't stop eating it by the spoonful. (If I called this soup, would that sound less strange?)

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.

Creamy Cauliflower Sauce recipe by Barefeet In The Kitchen

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
(printable recipe)

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.

Creamy Cauliflower Sauce recipe by Barefeet In The Kitchen




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ONE YEAR AGO TODAY: Sweet and Simple Homemade Lemon Curd
TWO YEARS AGO TODAY: Peach Galette

34 comments:

  1. Do you add the milk listed in the ingredients or not? I don't see it in the instructions. Thanks.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for catching that, Linda! I've corrected the recipe.

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  2. Could Coconut Milk be used in place of regular milk?

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    Replies
    1. Yes, almond or coconut milk will work fine.

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    2. Can you use heavy cream?

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    3. Sure, the recipe is extremely versatile.

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  3. Thank you Mary! I printed it and will let you know how it turns out. I always love your recipes. You wouldn't steer me wrong. Hope you are well and glad you made it home safe and sound. Miss you!

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  4. Hmm..interesting. We would definitely try this. Putting on my list. :)

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  5. So intriguing Mary! Have to try this one!

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  6. Years ago my mother pureed cauliflower in the blender. She added kitchen bouquet and made a "to die for" brown gravy. Wish I'd gotten the recipe!

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    1. I haven't looked more recently on this blog for the recipe you remember from your mother but I just did a Yahoo search and came up with several recipes for it.

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  7. Great alternative to force feeding children cauli!

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  8. I will be trying this. But, I had a thought after reading the recipe. You said there is a hint of cauliflower in the finished sauce. It might be from using the cooking liquid. If you switch it out for fresh water, it could eliminate it. Usually, the cooking liquid of vegetables will have a bitterness to it.

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    1. It should work fine that way as well. (Just be sure to use very hot water.) I imagine that you could also use chicken or vegetable broth. The recipe is very adaptable.

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  9. I found your blog a few days ago, right before I bought my blender. We have already made several of your recipes, but this is the one that convinced me to keep my blender! I even used unsweetened almond milk in this and it was still amazing! Thanks so much for your persistence to put up a recipe everyday- that is quite an incredible thing! Have a marvelous week!

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  10. I found this is an informative and interesting post so i think so it is very useful and knowledgeable.

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  11. I am excited to try this, and I am a non cauliflower eating adult. Love your blog and all your delicious recipes. Thanks

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  12. this is Béchamel sauce also known as white sauce, is made with a roux of butter and flour cooked in milk. It is one of the mother sauces of French cuisine. no need for all the cauliflower mess and blending.

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    1. This is not a Bechamel. There is no flour and only a small amount of milk, whereas Bechamel has a large amount of cream or milk in it. The "cauliflower mess" is the base of the sauce, and what i imagine gives it a good thickness without needing flour.

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    2. Duh and healthier sauce;-)

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  13. The great part of this sauce, is how wonderful to find such a healthy versatile one that is "Gluten Free" and NOT like a White sauce that is made with flour that those of us can't have or is too rich and fattening! What a perfect blend! TYSVM! I will be sure to hunt down your other recipes mention by others here listed definitely! :)

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  14. Just made it and it is GREAT!!! I added a little rice bran oil to the butter when I sauted the garlic. It raises the burning point of butter. Instead of just milk, I added half n' half to give it a little richness. Also I pulsed in a generous pinch of grated parmesan cheese (not the cheap stuff in a can). This could be the base for a seafood chowder too. Would be nice served over steamed broccoli. Béchamel sauce, as suggested by another reader, can be VERY rich and hard to digest all that!! I believe your cauliflower white sauce is a REAL HIT!!!

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  15. Is there a dairy free variety? Aside from substituting Almond or Coconut milk for the milk has anyone tried any fat other than butter? Several true dairy allergies in my family.

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    Replies
    1. Try some good olive oil, that would substitute just fine I'll bet.

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    2. I imagine bacon grease would also taste great.

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  16. I half the garlic and this is an AWESOME alfredo alternative (milk allergy-can't do regular alfredo) Actually have made this lots in the last few months! And it's SO much healthier!

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  17. I just made this... its amazing!!!!!!! Susan

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  18. I made this tonight and put it on the seasoned baked cod we had for supper. It was really good. My family was reluctant to try it, but I was pleased. I'm doing weight watchers and 1/2 cup was only 1 points plus. That's a skinny gravy! i was almost glad they were reluctant. All the more for me! Froze most of the leftovers for another night, leaving a little out for the next couple days for veggies. Thanks for sharing!

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  19. I wonder about roasting the cauliflower, if that would enhance the flavor.

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    1. I bet it would be fantastic roasted. (I love roasted cauliflower already!) Just use hot water in the sauce and adjust the seasonings as needed.

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  20. I made this with olive oil instead of butter and it turned out great! I also subbed hot water for the cooking water and I didn't think the sauce had any cauliflower flavor at all! I also never added milk because it was liquidy enough after I blended the cauliflower with just the water. I used the sauce on pasta & asparagus and found adding some fresh squeezed lemon juice added more depth of flavor.

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  21. Can you use frozen cauliflower?

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  22. Thank you, Mary!! I also shared with my mother in law Patsy, and she made the CFsauce for this last sunday lunch. Delicious !! She said we could even have stones with it:) Erika - Portugal

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