Pureed Cauliflower with Watercress

I’m batching it this week. “Batching” as in “bachelorette”, my temporary status while Russ is north of the border for a while. That means I eat stranger things than I normally eat for dinner, like pureed cauliflower and watercress. Ever since someone told me pureed cauliflower makes a good stand-in for mashed potatoes, not one of my favorites, I have been hooked on this pretender. It is easy to make, if you have a food processor.

Steam as much cauliflower as you care to eat. Left-overs are wonderful, so steam the whole head if you’d like to eat the same thing tomorrow. I know I will be looking for left-overs mañana. Cook cauliflower florets in a covered pan, with enough water so that it doesn’t cook dry, for about 8-10 minutes or until very tender. Add a handful of watercress the last three minutes of steaming. If you don’t have any watercress, but you find green appealing, some broccoli could go in the pan with the cauliflower.

When everything is fork-tender, spoon into the food processor and puree until just little pieces of green remain. Add a generous pinch of salt, and a tablespoon or two of olive oil. You can’t have too much olive oil, so don’t be afraid to pour it on. Then spoon onto a plate. As this was dinner, I topped my plate with two sunny-side-up eggs for a protein presence, and seasoned them with coarse sea salt and cracked black pepper.

I like yolks nice and runny. When they mix with the olive oil, a rich sauce forms. I’m not much of a meat eater, so eggs figure almost every day in my menu. I’m so grateful we can buy eggs from free-range hens. Yes, they do taste as good as they look.

I just discovered watercress in the herb section of the supermarket. In Spanish, it is known as berro, and known botanically as Nasturtium officinale, a member of the mustard family. I haven’t found a Mexican cook who actually uses berro in her kitchen, but I have faith that if the stores stock it, Mexican cooks must cook with it. I’ll keep asking until I can report back on how it is used in Mexican cuisine.

Thank you, Don Cuevas of My Mexican Kitchen, for alerting me in your blog that berro is watercress. I have eyed it for a while, unable to identify it in the store. The store clerks certainly didn’t know what it was or how to cook it. Now I know and I’ll never  puree cauliflower again without it. I love eating green. Buen provecho!

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12 thoughts on “Pureed Cauliflower with Watercress

  1. I found your recipe very interesting, yesterday I was wondering what else I could cook with watercress -apart from the salad-. A friend o mine suggested a pie of tomatoes, cheese and watercress. I´ll also try yours. I live in California, though I¨m not a ¨gringa¨, I´ve been born in Buenos Aires. When I bought the watercress, a Mexican lady helped me with the names in Spanish and English, because in my country, we also have another names, and I wanted to reference the prices. For ¨epazote¨, she said in Mexico they never call it ¨menta mexicana¨. Is there any menta mexicana?
    Nice blog, thank you,
    Myriam

    1. Myriam,
      In Mexico, menta is mint flavored candy. I have not heard of menta mexicana.
      I hope you try making pureed cauliflower with watercress — I love it.
      Thank you for visiting and for your complement.

  2. linda pruett

    I have enjoyed your recipes with fish. My sister gave me some frozen halibut she had caught in Alaska last year. I was really looking forward to eating it, but unfortunately, it had a really fishy taste, I know this means the fish is old. I still have 2 more fillets in the freezer. Is there anything I can do to freshen the taste? Or should I just feed the ravens?

    1. Linda,
      Even though the fish is “fishy” tasting, it is not spoiled, as long as it was kept frozen. If you want to try cooking it, I would suggest a spicy dish, maybe Pescado a la Veracruzana or Chipotle Fish Soup. (You will find recipes for both of these dishes by using the Search function on the right hand side of this web page.) Not only do spices mask strong flavors, they contribute their own special tastes which serve as a focus for the palate. I hope you enjoy your halibut dishes. Buen provecho!
      Kathleen

  3. Vicki in GA

    Oh, that looks so good!
    I love mashed ‘taters and cauliflower.
    I love mashed ‘taters and turnips.
    I love mashed ‘taters with any kind squash and basil.
    I love mashed ‘taters!

    BTW, totally off topic. After the summer garden is finished, I ’till everything into the soil – like okra, squash, tomatoes, green beans, etc. Today, I was picking squash that sprouted from last year’s garden. A yellow crookneck squash cross-pollinated with zuchinni to make the prettiest limey green squash. The skin is more like a summer squash but the shape of a zuchinni.

    I’m going to make fried squash blossoms soon – I loved them when I lived in Mexico.

    1. How wonderful to have fresh veggies right from your garden. I always appreciate volunteers. Usually I find tomato plants coming up in the compost pile. Their tomatoes are the largest and tastiest.

  4. Lorin — it really does make a good replacement for mashed potatoes if you are looking for something different.

    Sandra Lee — Yes, it would work just as well with steamed bok choy, or almost any vegetable. A blender could do the job, though you may need to add a little bit of water to get the puree started. And it would be delicious with butter. Thanks for the comment on the background color. I waffle back and forth as to whether the color addition is a good idea or not. I’m glad you like it.

  5. This looks fantastic. Do you think it would work with bok choy? I know it won’t be so zingy but I don’t tolerate watercress. Do you think I could do this in a blender instead of a food processor (don’t have one) with butter instead of olive oil? Thanks! Love the new green background for a change of pace.

  6. Lorin Johnson

    That looks and sounds yummy. I never would have thought of it. Cauliflower should be coming on here pretty soon though most of ours is in the fall.

    1. Gee, you’re fast! I’m still editing the post, a bad habit I have, as I should do all the editing before I impulsively hit the “publish” button instead of the “preview” button.
      The eggs tasted as good as they look. You can’t beat eggs from free-range hens.

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