smashed cauliflower

We especially like cauliflower rice armenian/middle eastern style and have it regularly at the in-laws, and have experimented with a few variations of cauliflower soup, but somehow smashed cauliflower, more commonly known as mashed cauliflower as in mashed potatoes but smashed is more twenty-first century, had escaped us. Until Rachel Ray got our attention. One of her 30 minute meals. While she cannot compare to princess giada or queen lydia (Italian royalty on the Food Network), she does have her place in our hearts.

Of course mashed potatoes (a bob favorite!) have taken a big hit this century as a bad carb, perhaps somewhat undeservedly, so any alternative that is less scary nutritionally is welcome. This recipe looks remarkably like mashed potatoes when it hits the plate, and has really good flavoring that grabs your taste buds. Like mashed potatoes, it seems to hit the spot (the comfort food zone spot) so we will be doing this again soon.


1 large cauliflower head
1 c veggie broth
3 oz (about 1/3 c) boursin light cheese (it comes in a 4.4oz = 125g container)
1/4 c parmigiano
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 t freshly grated (or not) nutmeg
3 T chopped chives (optional)


  1. Clean the cauliflower by separating the florets roughly from the solid central base of the head and remove any unsightly leaves. Dispose of the rest of the head. Clean the florets and put in a big pot.
  2. Boil up some water in a teapot and pour 1 cup into a measuring cup with your concentrated veggie broth powder or paste. We used a powder we had grabbed in a Rome supermarket after our usual Vogel supply had run out.
  3. Dump the broth over the cauliflower and bring to a boil covered and steam the cauliflower for about 20 minutes until the stems are softened.
  4. Meanwhile grate the parmigiano and open the boursin package.
  5. When the cauliflower is suitably softened, mash it with a hand masher a bit, then add in the boursin and mash it into the cauliflower, then the parmigiano and salt and pepper to taste and the nutmeg.


  1. boursin light, 80 percent less fat, 65% less calories? Okay we bought into it, and did not notice any compromise in this dish. Garlic and Fine Herbs. Yes, we are garlic lovers, and consider it to be a must-have ingredient for smashed white stuff.
  2. Rachel Ray, Cheesy Cauliflower. She uses chicken broth and 3 T of chopped chives. We came up short on the chives. Rachel actually has several different smashed cauliflower recipes. Variations on this theme are probably a good idea.
  3. We used ScelgoBio, brodo granulare vegetale, for the veggie broth this time. Comes in powdered form. From our last summer supermarket preflight stop before returning from Rome.
  4. In our second trial of this recipe, we did not read ahead and just steamed the cauliflower until softened. Meanwhile we sautéed a finely chopped onion in 2 T olive oil a bit, and then added in one finely crosscut (matchstick size) plastic hand food processor processed medium zucchini, continued the sauté and then pressed in a big garlic clove for a toss, then 1/4 c hot veggie broth to let it simmer on low heat for a while. Then we mashed the cauliflower with a hand masher and no extra broth, mashed in the boursin and parmigiano, and then mashed in the zucchini-onion mixture, added salt and pepper to taste and served it up. Also good. We forgot the nutmeg, but shouldn't  have. Next time.
  5. Illustrations available.
mshcauli.htm: 2-apr-2007 [what, ME cook? © 1984 dr bob enterprises]