Recently I've seen this recipe pop up all over the internet- making a vegan, allergy friendly alfredo sauce from cauliflower, and it looked really good. I have to say that while the recipe looked very tempting- with cauliflower in season now, it can be purchased pretty cheaply, and it has no expensive or allergenic ingredients, etc...- I was very skeptical about it. Ok, cauliflower is white, fine. But other than that? It has a very distinct taste- there's no way on earth you can make cauliflower taste like cheese...
But... I'd been really craving fetuccine alfredo lately, and didn't want to use any purchased dairy free milks, or spend a fortune on cashews, and I honestly don't have the energy to make my own dairy free milks now with which to make the alfredo sauce. And when I saw cauliflower being sold incredibly cheaply at the farmer's market's reduced rack stand yesterday, I decided that I'd try this recipe out. Worst comes to worst- I'd have some cauliflower flavored pasta, and I do enjoy the flavor of cauliflower.
Because I assumed it would be pretty bland and tasteless, I increased the garlic in the recipe... Wasn't necessary. I mean- the extra garlic makes it pretty awesome, but surprisingly, this dish tastes very cheesy, and exactly like I think fettuccine alfredo is supposed to taste, even without any "cheesy" ingredients.
I highly recommend it.
Once I had the base recipe, I played around with it a little more, adding some other ingredients I like in my fetuccini alfredo, and they made it even more perfect, but you can leave them out and still have a terrific dish.
The one down side of this dish is that it doesn't really have protein, so you'd need to serve another protein with this meal.
But this is definitely a great way to get veggies into "veggie skeptics"!
If you're grain free/paleo/GAPS, you can serve this alfredo sauce over homemade zucchini noodles. I am also sure it would taste terrific over chicken (I'm thinking pan fried chicken breast).
In short, I think this recipe is perfect for everyone- from allergic people, to lazy people, to veggie haters, to vegans, to extreme frugalistas, to Paleo/Primal people, etc... Pretty much the only people who its probably not good for are people who have to stay away from cruciferous veggies...
PS. I used fresh cauliflower for this, but I am sure you can also use frozen cauliflower for it, but adjust the seasonings and liquid as needed, as frozen cauliflower is often waterlogged.
1 tablespoon mild flavored oil (not olive or sesame), such as butter, coconut, palm, nut, or vegetable oils
3 cloves garlic, sliced
12 oz or 340 grams of cauliflower- about half a head- 3 1/2-4 cups chopped
1-1 1/2 cup water
1/2- 1 teaspoon salt
Black pepper to taste
Nutritional yeast- optional
1. Heat up the oil in a pan.
2. Slice your garlic and cook in the oil for a few minutes until just starting to brown. Don't let it burn. Keep the water on the side, and as soon as you see it getting a drop too dark, pour in 1 cup of water to stop it from overcooking and burning, since garlic goes from perfectly cooked to burnt in a split second.
3. Add your cauliflower, chopped into smaller pieces, into the water (it won't be covered in water- that's fine), cover the pot, bring to a boil, and then lower to a simmer for about 10 minutes. When the cauliflower is soft, turn off the fire.
4. Take the cauliflower pieces out of the water, and blend them in a food processor until it is as smooth as you can get it. Then add half of the water from the pot and blend some more, and then the rest of the water. If the sauce is thick, add the other half cup of water (you may have had too much water boil off while cooking). Add the salt, and taste. If needed, add more salt.
5. Add this point, you can add fresh parsley, dried parsley, nutmeg, and/or nutritional yeast to taste. Add freshly ground black pepper to taste as well.
6. Pour on your noodles (I used corn noodles), mix well, and serve hot!
Have you ever heard of using cauliflower to make an alfredo sauce? Would you also be skeptical if you saw the recipe? Does this look like a recipe you'd try out?