Sunday, January 23, 2011

jazz and mash

These are days to stay indoors and keep warm, but not according to my husband. Cooped up in an office all week, when the weekend rolls around he wants to go OUT! No, we didn't play in the snow, but instead bundled up and made our way to a very cool little venue in the East Village to hear the Rob Brown group play some experimental jazz. At least I think that is what it was. A very different sound than the more classic jazz I heard at the Village Vanguard last week. The venue, University of the Streets , is a performing arts space founded in 1969. It is true survivor of the city, reinventing itself over the years to stay afloat. This not-for-profit is hosting a wonderful jazz series over the next few weeks and it is worth checking out.
After the performance we went for dinner at Lina Frey, an attractive open dining space on Houston street serving modern French cuisine, a bistro nouveau as they call themselves.  Our waitress was very sweet, the noise level was very LOUD and the food was very good. In addition to Moules au Poivre, I ordered a bunch of vegetable side dishes. The roasted cauliflower puree sounded too good to pass up. It turned out to be not so much a puree, but more of a rough mash. The flavor was great and we gobbled it up.
I loved the idea of this preparation and decided to make my own version at home. I did not exactly recreate their dish, but I made something delicious and I thank Lina Frey for the great idea!

Roasted Mashed Cauliflower

1 head of cauliflower, broken into florets
4-6 cloves of garlic, peeled and left whole
1/2 a lemon cut into quarters
4 Tbs. Olive oil
1/2 cup milk or cream

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Lay the cauliflower, garlic and lemon on a baking sheet and toss with the olive oil and s & p to taste. Roast till tender about 35-40 minutes. Put the cauliflower and garlic in a food processor (pick out the lemon and squeeze the juice over the vegetables) and pulse to a rough puree. Drizzle in the milk or cream and pulse a few more times to combine.
Serves four.
When roasting cauliflower I like to leave the florets fairly large and I roast some of the cauliflower leaves as well.
Let the cauliflower gets some nice brown crispy spots to add lots of flavor to the mash.


  1. This cold snap we're having is not conducive to going outside! I walked 30 blocks to visit my friend yesterday and that was enough time outdoors for me--and they're predicting another foot of snow next week. Sigh!

    Cauliflower is one of the very few vegetables that I just cannot stand, and i'm not sure why (it's probably mental). I don't mind it in fritters and things like that, so maybe it's a texture issue? I'll have to try your mashed cauliflower recipe though! Stay warm :)

  2. Hey tofu girl! yes ridiculously cold. A 30 block walk is very impressive! Give this cauliflower dish a try sometime, I think the roasting gives a lot of dimension to it. It is a nice recipe if you are having guests, tastes really good and no one will know exactly what it is!


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