Romanesco Cauliflower Mash

Dinner, Sides

Romanesco Cauliflower Mash //

This is the second installment of Adrianna-tries-to-be-healthy-by-eating-stuff-other-than-just-doughnuts. Friday I gave you fraud-fries (a new technical term that describes vegetable fries). And today, it’s all about fraud-mash.

I’m all about deception and lies and fooling oneself. Food-trickery, is what it is.

Let me tell you last week when I tried this for the first time I had a big attitude about it. I was bratty, skeptical, even trash-talked it on Twitter before trying it. And then, I put it on my plate, right next to a very lean steak and was like, whoa! this is actually delicious! I was going for steak and potatoes and this came pretty close!

Romanesco Cauliflower Mash //

Romanesco cauliflower (or broccoli) is pretty close to regular cauliflower, but I’d consider it a bit nuttier and earthier in flavor. If you can’t find Romanesco, regular white cauliflower will work great, too.

It looks a little alien-esque, right? I could probably just stare at it all day long because it’s so weird looking.

Romanesco Cauliflower Mash //

The night of my first attempt at making fraud-mash, I just added a bit of minced shallot, garlic and salt and pepper. The second go-around I figured I’d add a few things to make it a teeny bit better and they made a huge difference. Greek yogurt, a squeeze of lemon, some garlic powder and some chives for garnish.

They all make such a big impact that I’m not sure I’d make it again so plainly.

Romanesco Cauliflower Mash //

This is a great make-ahead side. It keeps well in the fridge for days! And reheats well, too. I can’t believe what I’m about to type, but I kinda actually like it better than potatoes right now. I’m into feeling light and bouncy and this doesn’t weigh you down while still being kinda comforting and warm.

It’s a warm, cozy, healthy dish. I’m so into it. I hope you try it.

Romanesco Cauliflower Mash //

Romanesco Cauliflower Mash

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Serving Size: 1 1/2 cups of cauliflower mash


  • 1 cup water
  • Salt
  • 1 head Romanesco cauliflower, florets trimmed
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tablespoons Greek yogurt
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Pepper
  • 2 to 3 chives, minced (as garnish)


  • To a medium saucepan, set over medium heat, add the water, along with a few pinches of salt and the Romanesco cauliflower florets. Cover the pot and simmer until the cauliflower florets are bright in color and tender when poked with a fork, about 10 minutes. Reserve the cauliflower broth by pouring it into a small bowl. Drain the cauliflower and set both aside.
  • To the same saucepan, add a teaspoon of olive oil. When the oil is warm, add the minced shallot and cook until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook for an additional minute. Add the reserved cauliflower florets and a few splashes of broth back to the pot. Using a hand immersion blender, pulse (going up and down) until the mixture is smooth, adding more broth as needed (I ended up adding about 1/2 cup of cauliflower broth). If you don't have a hand immersion blender, transfer everything to a food processor or blender and pulse until smooth, adding broth as needed.
  • Next, add the Greek yogurt, garlic powder and a few pinches of pepper. Pulse until combined. Add the juice from 1/2 lemon and salt to taste (I added about 1 teaspoon). Transfer to a bowl and garnish with more pepper and a few chopped chives.
Did you make this Recipe? Tag me Today!Tag @acozykitchen on Instagram and hashtag it #acozykitchen
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Leave a Reply

  • Reply Lokness @ The Missing Lokness March 13, 2014 at 7:36 pm

    I received a romanesco cauliflower from my last CSA box. I never had one before, so I wasn’t sure what to do with it. I ended up just roasting it. I wish I found this post earlier! I would totally make this mash. Oh well, saving up for next time. Thanks!

  • Reply Toby @ brag&butter March 13, 2014 at 3:44 am

    Delicious, Adrianna! I luvluvluv a cauliflower mash with seared scallops, so I will definitely do this alienesque version for a bit of color soon. Although we didn’t have that much white on white this winter in Germany. But – well. I just want to eat this. Period. Cheers! Tobi

  • Reply Isadora @She Likes Food March 10, 2014 at 11:10 am

    I’ve been trying to eat healthier too lately and I have tried the whole making “mashed potatoes” out of cauliflower a few times with no success. I could eat mashed potatoes everyday and it is hard for me to think of replacing them, but I will definitely have to give your recipe a try!

  • Reply sandra March 10, 2014 at 9:32 am

    I have often been tempted to buy one of those baroque heads of good-for-you-ness but wasn’t sure what to do with it. This is the perfect solution! And your eye for design is so spot on – a real inspiration!!

  • Reply cheri March 10, 2014 at 8:27 am

    I like this very much. Do you think this would be good with pita or even on pizza?

  • Reply Liz @ Tip Top Shape March 10, 2014 at 5:57 am

    Wait…so is romanesco cauliflower the same thing as broccoli or just similar?? I’m confused…and intrigued! Also, this mash looks delicious.

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme March 10, 2014 at 8:21 am

      Just similar. It’s in the same family. But it’s more similar regular cauliflower in texture and flavor.

  • Reply Marie @ Little Kitchie March 10, 2014 at 5:48 am

    So pretty!

  • Reply Belinda@themoonblushbaker March 10, 2014 at 3:33 am

    Love the heads of Ramanesco in meals; they look so festive and cute. While normal cauliflower is well and good your adaption is a welcomed change.