Romanesco Cauliflower Mash



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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 //

5 from 1 vote

Romanesco Cauliflower Mash

Servings: 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.
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Cozy Latin-Inspired Comfort Food Recipes

Hi! I'm Adrianna and this is my cozy space on the internet that is super-charged by butter, flour and copious amounts of pasta. Stay awhile, will you!

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  1. 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!

  2. 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

  3. 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!

  4. 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!!

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

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

  6. 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.