Carrot-Parsnip Puree with Cauliflower “Breadcrumbs”
Recently, I posted a Cauliflower “Pizza Crust” recipe in which raw cauliflower florets are food-processed until they are the size of “tiny pebbles.”
That culinary metaphor seemed okay at the time, but it didn’t turn my imagination in any other direction.
Then I made more pizza and had cauliflower pebbles left over—three cups, in fact.
What to do with all that cauliflower? While staring at it, another metaphor came to mind: “coarse breadcrumbs.”
Now dieters can only make limited use of real breadcrumbs—too many carbs, too many calories. But why couldn’t I substitute cauliflower “breadcrumbs” instead?
It was one of those “aha” moments.
So I had a topping. Now what about a base? That choice was easy: one of readers’ favourite recipes on this blog is Cauliflower-Carrot Bake. I decided I’d do a carrot “something” and this was the result…
Makes 4-6 servings
Cooking tip: I used all 3 cups of cauliflower (roughly 1 small head) in this recipe, which was a lot. You could use less. You could also vary the quantities of carrots and parsnips, depending on what you have in your fridge.
Ingredients for the Purée
- 3 carrots, chopped into large chunks
- 3 parsnips, chopped into large chunks
- 1 onion, chopped into large chunks
- 4-6 cups of water
- ½ tsp. minced ginger
- ½ tsp. minced garlic
- ½ tsp. ground cumin
- ½ tsp. ground cardamom
- Salt, to taste
- Cooking spray
Ingredients for the Topping
- 1-3 cups cauliflower florets, raw
- ½ cup sheep romano cheese, grated
- Salt, to taste
- In a medium saucepan, put water and chopped carrots, parsnips, and onions.
- Bring to a boil and then simmer until soft—about 30 minutes. (You could also do this in the microwave or use roasted vegetables.)
- While vegetables are cooking, make the cauliflower breadcrumb topping.
- Put cauliflower florets in a food processor.
- Pulse until florets have been reduced to the size of coarse breadcrumbs. (Don’t overdo it as you don’t want purée.)
- Put into a microwavable glass or plastic bowl.
- Microwave for 8 minutes. (Don’t add water.)
- Add grated cheese and salt, if preferred.
- Mix and set aside.
- Drain cooked carrots, parsnips, and onions and put in the food processor. (Note: if you make the dish in the order recommended here, you don’t have to clean the processor after finishing with the cauliflower. It doesn’t matter if a little cauliflower gets into the purée.)
- Add ginger, garlic, cumin, and cardamom.
- Process until smooth.
- Taste, and add salt as preferred.
- Spray a shallow baking pan (I used a 10″ x 6″ pan) with cooking spray.
- Spread purée in the baking pan.
- Top with cauliflower and cheese mixture.
- Bake in a 350° F oven for 25-30 minutes or until purée starts to bubble. (If you wish, you could brown the topping under the grill.)
For Weight Watchers: The only points in this dish comes from the cheese—4 points in total. The point-value per serving will depend on how many servings you make.