Thanksgiving Recipe: Whipped Cauliflower with Crème Fraîche

Recipes from The Kitchn

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If you're looking for an easy, healthy, and absolutely delicious side dish to complete your Thanksgiving menu, look no further. (Bonus points for not taking up precious oven or stovetop space!) Can I just say that I am officially obsessed with whipped cauliflower now?

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My family is set in their Thanksgiving ways, which doesn't bother me in the least. But with every drool-worthy November cooking magazine that lands on my stack, I get a hankering to venture beyond our traditional Southern menu.

Instead of messing with tradition, I use the weeks leading up to Turkey Day to test out many of those dog-eared recipes. Perhaps it is obsessive, but I can think of worse things than celebrating Thanksgiving all month long.

I've been wanting to develop a lightened-up recipe to counteract all of the butter-laden dishes I've been consuming, but I am not one who is willing to sacrifice flavor in an attempt to "cut back." (I'd rather just eat less of the real stuff!) Thankfully this recipe doesn't skimp on heavenly taste or texture. Heck, if you don't tell anyone it's virtuous, nobody will be the wiser.

The fact that I slipped this by a friend who, quite literally, will not touch a single vegetable pretty much speaks for itself. And you might even call me crazy, but I actually think this whipped cauliflower dish is better than my mother's mashed potatoes. Now let's see if I can sneak it by my family come Thursday...

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Whipped Cauliflower with Crème Fraîche

Serves 4 to 6

1 head cauliflower, stem removed and head chopped into florets
1/4 cup chicken stock
2 large garlic cloves, peeled
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons crème fraîche

Combine cauliflower florets, chicken stock, and garlic cloves in a large microwave-safe bowl, cover with a microwave-safe lid or plate, and microwave on HIGH until the cauliflower is very tender, 10 to 12 minutes. (Alternatively, place cauliflower florets and garlic in a steamer basket over boiling chicken stock; cover and steam until very tender, about 15 minutes.)

Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cauliflower and garlic cloves to the bowl of a blender or food processor. Add the Parmesan, salt, and black pepper to the cauliflower and blend on HIGH until the mixture is velvety and smooth, about 1 minute.

Fold in the crème fraîche and season with additional salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm.

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(Image credits: Nealey Dozier)

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