It’s a mouthful, I admit. I combined 2 un-used ingredients from my pantry to put a new spin on mashed cauliflower (or in this case Broccoflower). I figured this would be a good entry into the February Food Fight: a Pantry Raid.
The idea started from reading a good looking post for roasted cauliflower from Mark at No Special Effects. I had a Broccoflower, a green cauliflower variety that I considered roasting. I figured the beautiful green color would fade away in the oven, so decided to do a mash instead.
There’s all sorts of stuff hanging out in my cupboards. Instead of doing a regular mashed cauliflower, I wanted to play with the flavorings and remembered a tin of wasabi powder we once bought but never used. I figured the spicy taste would go nicely with the sweet taste of the vegetable.
As I started to wonder about how ‘green’ this dish would turn out, I remembered that my friend Helen gave me a tin of matcha green tea powder from her recent trip to Japan. I’ve been meaning to use it in cooking and decided it might lend a nice earthy background note to this dish. And, since both wasabi and matcha are Japanese in origin … I figured they must work well together.
Spicy, earthy, and sweet. Hmmm, and maybe a bit of dairy to give it a creamier consistency. I put my plan into action …
I cut the broccoflower into small pieces and placed into boiling water for about 10 minutes — until it was soft. I drained it well and went at it with a potato masher. Once it was fairly well broken up, I used a stick blender to give it a smooth texture. So far, so good. I also added about 2 tablespoons of milk and 1 tablespoon of cream cheese for a slight creaminess. I seasoned with salt and pepper. Surprisingly, the mash had a great texture and wasn’t watery at all.
Next, I started to add wasabi powder in 1/4 teaspoon increments, afraid that I might overdose the mash. I ended up adding 1 teaspoon in total. It gave a hint of wasabi flavor, but was not overpowering at all. I could have added another 1/2 teaspoon but held back. I moved on to the matcha powder followed the same slow approach. Once again, I didn’t want it to overpower the sweetness and ended up adding 1/2 teaspoon in total. I think this was plenty.
Depending on where you live, wasabi and matcha may not be available. Horseradish would be a perfectly fine substitute for wasabi, since most ‘wasabi’ is actually made from horseradish. Just, go slowly with adding it — add a little, then taste. For matcha, I can’t really think of a common substitute but this could be left out entirely. Horseradish mashed cauliflower is yummy too! (it’s just not as fun to say)
When I dished up the mash, I added a pat of butter on top for a little extra richness. The dish turned out a deep rich green color, but unfortunately it didn’t seem to come through in the photos I took.
I achieved what I set out to do — I created an earthy, spicy, and creamy vegetable dish. Next time, I would boost up the wasabi flavor to give it a bit more kick. Overall, it turned out to be pretty good.