Fall is in the air don’t we all love Fall! Why? Comfort food is back, out with fresh and light, in with savory and stick to the ribs goodness.
Hearty does not have to be un-healthy. Mashed potatoes may be the ultimate “side kick”. But have you ever considered mashed vegetables? They can be just as tasty as mashed potatoes and healthier for those watching carbs. Mashed vegetables with a few simple tips are easy to do and easy on time.
Give this recipe a try with cauliflower, carrots, sweet potatoes, and parsnips. Be creative with any hearty vegetable or combination of multiple.
Now for the basics....
Cut vegetables similarly sized and shaped pieces for even cooking.
Salt the water well and then after mashing and mixing to bring out the full flavor of the vegetables.
Cook vegetables till very tender but not to falling apart to avoid uncooked lumps when mashed or a grainy texture from too much cooking.
Test for doneness with a fork or skewer, a knife is deceiving, it can slip easily into a vegetable that is still undercooked.
Drain well and let moisture steam off to avoid diluting flavors and watery mashes.
Warm some milk and butter in the pot the vegetables were cooked in. For a healthier option use chicken or beef broth in place of milk and butter.
Mash your cooked vegetables, after mashing stir with a whisk for lighter smoother mash.
Serve immediately. If not possible keep them warm in a double boiler it’s a great way to get ahead of the game on Thanksgiving or for a dinner party.
The age old question, lumpy or smooth? Texture is your choice. Think about the meal and pair the best texture with it. For rustic, use hand tools. Want smoother, use ricers, food mills or food processors.
Now some tips on flavor pairings
Potatoes love nutmeg or cumin, rosemary with garlic, fresh herbs such as chives, parsley and dill. Also try adding fresh lemon zest just before serving.
Carrots love orange zest and mint, or pumpkin pie spices. Add to milk/butter mixture and then add more just before serving. A little bit of heat such as red pepper flakes would be nice too.
Parsnips love dijon mustard, cream and honey.
Now that you know the basics to “happy” mashing. There is a lot more to be made than potatoes, be creative and be inspired. It is a great Healthy way to sneak a second vegetables into a meal!