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Tuesday
Mar262013

Cauliflower Chickpea Puree

For years I scoffed at the idea of cauliflower mash or puree as a replacement for mashed potatoes.  Clearly, cauliflower is not equal to the pure awesomeness of creamy mashed potatoes.  How could this grainy textured vegetable be pureed into something I actually want to feed myself and not a 6 month old baby?

Cauliflower Chickpea Puree // edible perspective

Instead of comparing this to mashed potatoes let’s just make it it’s own thing.  Mmmk?

Because, if I am craving mashed potatoes I’m going to make real-freaking mashed potatoes.  There really is no replacement. 

But this?

Is amazing in its own right.  And now I crave this all-of-the-time.  As does Chris…the ultimate potato lover.

Curious about this vibrant orange cauliflower?  It’s no different than the white variety but has the coloring of cheddar cheese.  You can sometimes also find a green and purple variety as well.  Kind of like the many colors of carrots!

Cauliflower Chickpea Puree // edible perspective

I’ve made this puree with + without beans, and I must say I like it much more with the beans included.  You will be shocked at how incredibly filling this simple side dish is.

Cauliflower Chickpea Puree // edible perspective

My favorite pureeing tool for this is the blender.  A food processor or immersion blender will work but the blender turns it into a silky, smooth puree.

Cauliflower Chickpea Puree // edible perspective

I kept the flavors simple but could see so many variations.  I’m thinking curry spiced with a little garam masala—or, maybe cumin, coriander, chili powder and a little adobo sauce—or, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper! 

Ohhh, the possibilities.

Cauliflower Chickpea Puree // edible perspective

Print this!

Cauliflower Chickpea Puree gluten-free, grain-free, vegan option // serves 2-4 as a side dish

  • 1 large head cauliflower, core removed + chopped
  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon butter, ghee or vegan butter
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil, or parsley
  • 1/2 – 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic granules
  1. Steam the cauliflower for about 12-16 minutes, until very tender.
  2. Place in a blender [having a plunger helps] or food processor with all other ingredients, starting with 1/2 cup milk.
  3. Blend or process until smooth, scarping the sides as needed. 
  4. Add more milk until desired consistency is reached and continue to blend until fully smooth.  About 1-2 minutes total.  Taste and add more salt/pepper/spices if desired and blend again.
  5. If the puree has cooled a bit, heat over medium, stirring constantly until hot.  About 1-2 minutes.
  6. Serve with a sprinkle of salt, pepper, and butter.

tips/substitutions: Cannellini beans can be subbed instead of chickpeas.  If you want to use fresh garlic, use about 1/4-inch piece of a clove and mince before blending it in.  Fresh garlic can sometimes have a spicy + overpowering bite which is why I chose the garlic granules for this.  Feel free to use fresh herbs if desired.

Looking for actual potato recipes?  Try these!  sage + garlic whipped sweet potatoes | creamy herb potato kale soup | salt + vinegar kale mashed potatoes | mashed potato spinach patties | sweet potato leek + sage latkes

Cauliflower Chickpea Puree // edible perspective

oh.so.creamy.

Officially addicted. 

How about you?

Ashley

Reader Comments (25)

A few things:
1. That cauliflower looks so amazing! I love scouting out all those different colors/varieties when it's in season at my farmer's market :)
2. I COMPLETELY agree with you about the mashed potatoes does not equal cauliflower point. I have tried and tried and failed miserably at ultimately convincing my taste buds that, yes, these were comparable outcomes. It's good to hear that someone else is taking cauliflower as it is :)
3. This recipe really looks fantastic! Would you dip things in it, eat it as is, spread it? It looks almost hummus-like :)
4. Thanks for another amazing recipe- I love your website and your photos are spectacular! I'm a fairly new blogger and am saving up to get a decent camera but until then, point 'n shoot will have to do ;)
Have a great one!
March 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAly
This looks amazing! I haven't done the cauliflower mash thing yet, but after seeing how delicious and creamy this looks, I'm going to have to give it a try.
March 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterErica {Coffee & Quinoa}
@Aly - You would eat it by the spoonful. :) I think the chickpeas really help give it body making it much more similar to whipped potatoes. Thanks for your sweet words. Much appreciated!

@Erica - You must try it out!
March 27, 2013 | Registered CommenterAshley
I am SO VERY into eating cauliflower as mashed potatoes. I seriously can't taste the difference. What does that say about my taste buds? But I'm also so very into this bright yellow mash. Chickpeas? I love that!
March 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKatie
I haven't tried the cauliflower mash yet either, but this with some of your spicy mix-in ideas sounds delicious!
This is SO. STUNNING. I've been on a cauliflower kick in a major way - Cannot wait to try this!!
March 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMarie @ Little Kitchie
@Katie - I think the taste is actually very similar as well!
March 27, 2013 | Registered CommenterAshley
This puree does look quite amazing. I recently made a cauliflower and white bean "hummus," but this puree looks so wonderfully creamy, and I'm always up for a new way to eat cauliflower! Beautiful photos, too.
This looks so yummy! I love both cauliflower and chickpeas. Great idea! I bet this would be a great spread on your gluten free flatbread. :)
March 27, 2013 | Unregistered Commenteraddie | culicurious
That is one of the most perfect looking cauliflowers I've ever seen! This looks delicious--definitely need to add this to my 'make' list.
This looks amazing!!! So creamy!
March 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMr. & Mrs. P
The color of that cauliflower is incredible! Usually I find that the texture of cauliflower puree isn't smooth enough on its own, so I add just one little potato...I never thought to add beans though! Sounds perfect for a little kick of protein in there :)
March 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKatie @ Blonde Ambition
This is such an interesting combo. I've made mashed cauliflower before, and you're right, it's no sub for mashed potatoes. But the starchiness from the chickpeas seems to be a good addition. I can't wait to try this out!
March 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMaria Tadic
This looks so good! My kind of thing for sure! How you come up with this stuff is beyond me!
March 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTieghan
Ooo I love a bit of cauli mash, BUT i'd never thought to add chickpeas even though I am obsessed with them…seems so obvious now! :-)
March 28, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterjo @ including cake
SO funny you posted this today as I made twice baked "potatoes" last night using cauliflower and a little raw cheddar and bacon on top. I even made my 3 boys their own baked potatoes and had to fight them off of my cauliflower (I get very sad at the thought of not having leftovers for the next day...even if they are my own kids! LOL).
I saw the orange and purple cauliflower in the store yesterday but was scared it was some GMO, Monsanto-made thing so I passed on it. Do you happen to know if it's "natural" or man-made color?
March 28, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNicole
@Nicole - That is too funny! It's definitely natural, just like the variety of colors you can find chard, carrots, and beets!
March 28, 2013 | Registered CommenterAshley
Sounds very interesting.. Love the combination.. Thanks for the recipe :)
March 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHari Chandana
I'm so with you- if I want mashed potatoes, I'm using POTATOES.
That being said, I do love the flavor of mashed cauliflower for what it is- cauliflower! The color of this is so pretty (and man- can you imagine having it side by side with purple cauliflower??).
Hello! I've been a (somewhat quiet) reader for some time now, but I saw this recipe and wanted to invite you to share it - or any healthy meal/snack you've enjoyed over the past month - at my link-up (http://bit.ly/YCpeHq) to celebrate National Nutrition Month. I'm hoping to get people to come together to celebrate all of the different ways to eat healthfully, and I think my readers would love this post!
March 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJess S. @ Floptimism
I want to sub tahini for butter and call it humus! Sounds great...definitely will be making this!
March 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTracy
I just made this and it was delicious! I doubled the chickpeas because I had some to use up, and I used rosemary and S&P, instead of the spices you used here. I'll definitely be making this again with some of the spice tweaks you suggested.
March 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLaura
Hi there. The current Food on Friday on Carole's Chatter is collecting links to dishes using cauliflower and/or cabbage. I do hope you link this in. This is the <a href="http://caroleschatter.blogspot.co.nz/2013/04/cauliflower-cabbage-recipe-links-Food-Friday.html"> link </a>. It would be great if you checked out some of the other links – there are lots of good ones already. Cheers
April 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCarole
Looks great!
I love cauliflower mashed in place of mashed potatoes. My kids never know what it is and they are still eating their vegies. This is a great recipe incorporating chickpeas, It sounds flavorful. I also love the photo's you have of the foods you blog about. I am a photographer so this appeals to me more then others.
April 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer

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