Cauliflower purée with parmesan and thyme

November 10, 2011

Cauliflower puree with parmesan and thyme

Few recipes are as easy to make – not to mention as low in calories – as this cauliflower purée.

Gently boiled in milk with a bundle of fresh thyme, the cauliflower acquires a delicate flavor and silky texture. With just over 100 calories per serving, this recipe is as delicious and light as it gets.

The touch of crème fraîche at the end makes the purée more luxurious for sure, but if you want an even lower-calorie side dish, you can certainly omit it.

Even better, you can prepare the purée ahead of time and re-heat it for a few minutes before you serve it. In my book, that makes it an ideal recipe when cooking a large meal… like a Thanksgiving feast!

Cauliflower with thyme bundle

Cauliflower purée with parmesan and thyme

serves 4
active time: 15 min

  1. 2 cups milk
  2. 3/4 teaspoons sea salt or to taste
  3. 1 medium cauliflower (2 1/4 lbs) (1kg) – florets torn in 2″ pieces
  4. 1 small bunch fresh thyme – tied in a bundle with kitchen string
  5. freshly ground white pepper to taste
  6. 1/4 cup freshly grated Reggiano parmesan
  7. 1 tablespoon crème fraîche

  1. Step 1: Bring milk to a boil in a large pot. Add half the salt, cauliflower and thyme bundle. Reduce heat to medium and partially cover the pan so that the milk doesn’t boil over. Simmer for 10 to 12 minutes until cauliflower is very tender. Strain in a colander, reserve the milk and let stand for 10 minutes until well drained. Discard thyme bundle.
  2. Step 2: Place the cauliflower florets in the bowl of a food processor and process with a steel blade until coarsely chopped. Add the balance of the salt, pepper, parmesan and 2 tablespoons of the reserved milk. Process for another 30 seconds until very smooth. Add a bit more reserved milk to the desired consistency, if needed.
  3. Cook’s note: The purée can be prepared to this point up to 1 day ahead. Transfer the purée to a bowl, let cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
  4. Step 3: When ready to serve, place the purée in a medium saucepan and heat over medium heat until very warm, stirring frequently. Add the crème fraîche and stir until well incorporated. Transfer the purée to a serving bowl and serve immediately.

side vegetable, cauliflower, puree
© 2014 Viviane Bauquet Farre Food & Style NY LLC

Disclaimer: As always, my point of view is my own. I do not accept samples, and have no commercial relationship with any product, food or wine company.

{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

Cucina49 November 10, 2011 at 12:16 pm

This would be a perfect Thanksgiving side dish–and you’re right, so easy!

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Sandra November 10, 2011 at 4:50 pm

This is a great alternative to mashed potatoes. This also reminds me that I should use thyme more often.

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Kelly November 10, 2011 at 5:50 pm

What a beautiful recipe – perfect in its simplicity and aromatic choices.

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Tiffany November 10, 2011 at 10:45 pm

Wow, this is a beautiful dish! I just love thyme in everything, what a nice combination with the cauliflower!

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Viviane@Taste-Buds November 11, 2011 at 4:24 am

I agree that cauliflower is a very versatile veggie! It is one of my favorite things to eat. It is amazing how it can absorb flavor and render it nicely.

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Liz November 11, 2011 at 8:03 am

I’d rather have this than mashed potatoes…it sounds fabulous…mmmmmmm.

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Grubarazzi November 11, 2011 at 6:48 pm

This is such a great consistency and beautiful color. This would be great with so many things.

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Jennifer Eloff November 11, 2011 at 11:11 pm

Love this!!

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Rumana Rawat November 12, 2011 at 11:23 am

Congrats dear.. lovely dish:)

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Sprigs of Rosemary November 12, 2011 at 1:35 pm

I love to puree cauliflower. You’re right; easy and healthy. A great potato sub.

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Angelica November 13, 2011 at 2:45 am

Wow, I didn’t know that cauliflower can be cooked in a variety of ways. I’m always too use with my stir fried cauliflower. Gotta try this new recipe!

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Trix November 13, 2011 at 3:11 pm

This is such a great carb-free sub for mashed potatoes, and a welcome lightness as the holidays approach. Congrats on Top 9!!

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Lori Lynn November 14, 2011 at 5:12 am

Hi Viviane – I like that it isn’t loaded with cream. The recipe sounds perfect. Congrats on the T-9!
LL

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Donna Ford November 18, 2011 at 3:01 pm

Viviane, This Caulifower puree looks beautiful. I can’t wait to taste it. Thank you!

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Peggy November 18, 2011 at 4:25 pm

I love pureed cauliflower – your version sounds quite tasty =)

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Karen Fisher November 18, 2011 at 5:21 pm

I love how you take an ordinary recipe and make it extraordinary, Viviane. I puree cauliflower often but the addition of the thyme and creme fraiche add that extra zing. This is why I love your recipes.

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Viviane November 19, 2011 at 11:12 am

Karen! Thank you so much for your kind words… Coming from you it means a lot! Wishing you a delicious and joyful Thanksgiving.

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Annette Kesler November 19, 2011 at 12:17 am

Viviane, dear Stylish and elegant touches as always, making each dish a culinary adventure!

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Meghan November 22, 2011 at 12:34 pm

This is such a beautiful dish! Great alternative to mashed potatoes, and it looks so refined with the thyme. I’m passing this along to a friend who just asked me the other day what she could do with cauliflower. Thanks!

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Natalie@DeconstructingTheHome January 6, 2012 at 3:12 pm

I love dishes like this! Thanks for the idea. For a while I was making “mashed potatoes” with cauliflower and my husband loved it. Then I got busted and he won’t eat it again. Maybe I can get this one to past.

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Kirsten@My German Kitchen...in the Rockies January 10, 2012 at 9:20 pm

What a delightful side dish. I am a big cauliflower fan and will take this recipe to try.
Greetings from Colorado.
Kirsten

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Viviane January 18, 2012 at 10:36 am

Hi Kristen! I’m a huge cauliflower fan too. Thank you for your greetings and for your comment. Sending warm greetings right back at you from New York!

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