The best recipes, in my opinion, are the ones that are not only tasty and simple but also don't waste a lot of food. That is what I love about this Purple "Mashed Potatoes" recipe I did. This recipe actually uses the leaves from the cauliflower plant to create a pesto, so no need for extra gravy. Just top your "mashed potatoes" with it! Since I use dried garlic in this recipe, which definitely gives the dish a bit of a kick, I suggest you pair this recipe with a crisp Sauvignon Blanc.

Prep time: 5 minutes  

Total time: 1 hour 20 minutes  

Twice-Baked Cauliflower with Cauliflower Leaf Pesto


Yield: 5 servings

  • 1 cauliflower (the purple variety is used here)
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1/8 cup pine nuts
  • Drizzle olive oil
  • Dash garlic powder
  • Dash sea salt
Cooking directions
  1. Remove the cauliflower's leaves and chop the head and the stalk. I prefer to clean cauliflower after it has been chopped. That allows you to get into all the nooks and crannies. purple cauliflower
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using a large mixing bowl, cover the cauliflower with about an inch of cold water and add 1 tablespoon of vinegar. (It helps get the dirt out.) Let it soak for about 15 minutes and then rinse it thoroughly. You don't want your "mashed potatoes" to have a vinegar aftertaste.
  3. Bake the cauliflower (any parts that aren't leafy) for about an hour until it is very tender. pine nuts for pesto
  4. To create the pesto, finely chop the leaves and the pine nuts, and combine them with some olive oil in small mixing bowl. You want to use just enough olive oil to coat the ingredients. cauliflower in food processor
  5. Once the cauliflower is done baking, puree it in a food processor or mash it.
  6. Mix in some garlic powder and salt. (While I use fresh garlic 99 percent of the time, I really wanted the flavor you find in garlic powder for this recipe. I do something similar in my pasta sauce. I will use both fresh oregano and dried oregano; they taste different but add something special to the dish.) You can serve the cauliflower now by finishing it with the pesto or serve it twice-baked as I did in the video below.

This story was originally written for Treehugger. Copyright 2012.