Tarragon Cauliflower Puree | When I worked my brief restaurant stint in Portugal, I was put in charge of purees. Or more accurately, I was put in charge of being the guy that got screamed at for making purees. Or even more accurately, the poor guy that was publicly admonished in 5 international languages, before laughing it off because I had absolutely no idea what the hell they were saying. Despite all the noisy distractions, I did manage to find a puree I loved the most (probably cause I messed it up the least), which was made with…wait for it…a cauliflower. What?
In this recipe, we simmer the cauliflower in a seasoned cream, blend it with brown butter, and brighten it up with lemon and fresh tarragon. It’s delicious on its own or as a pasta filling. Bookmark this bad boy.
* You can make this puree in advance, cover the surface with parchment paper, and gently reheat it at service.
- White Cauliflower - 1 large head
- Butter - 4 tablespoons
- Heavy Cream - 4 cups
- Milk - 2 cups
- Bay Leaves - 2
- Tarragon - 1 tablespoon, finely minced
- Lemon Juice - 1 teaspoon
- Nutmeg - ⅓ teaspoon
- Chicken Bouillon - 1 tablespoon
- Salt - 1½ teaspoons
- Slice off the stem end of the cauliflower and remove the green outer leaves.
- Now using your hands, break off the cauliflower florets and try to keep them as close to the same size as possible - you should get about 3 cups worth.
- Then get all your other ingredients together.
- To the dutch oven, add the florets first, then pour in the cream and milk.
- Then stir in the bay leaves, nutmeg, chicken bouillon and half the salt.
- Put the dutch oven medium-high heat and bring it all to a boil.
- Then cover the dutch halfway, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer until the florets are fork tender - about 15 minutes.
- While the cauliflower is doing its thing, brown the butter in the saute pan over medium heat until it smells really nutty - about 10 minutes. You should be left with about 2 tablespoons.
- Trash the bay leaves.
- Take your spider, pick out the florets, and drop them directly into the food processor.
- Turn the machine on and slowly drizzle in the melted butter, lemon juice and about 2 tablespoons of the cream mix, until the puree loosens and is the perfect consistency!
- Season to taste with the rest of the salt. Depending on how large your cauliflower head was, you may need as much as ¾ teaspoons.
- Now scrape the puree into the mixing bowl and stir in the tarragon. That's it!
* If tarragon is a little strong for you, oregano and basil work well here too.
* We put this puree inside our Crispy Short Rib Wontons (as seen in the picture)!
* We used to make cauliflower purees in the restaurant. It's one of those vegetables that's surprisingly versatile and one that you wouldn't initially think of for an application like this.