Cauliflower mashed potatoes

This Jan. 1, 2018 photo shows cauliflower mashed potatoes, bottom right, in New York. Not only is this purée tasty, smooth, and light, it’s also the perfect vehicle for any sauce…just like mashed potatoes. (Sara Moulton via AP)This Jan. 1, 2018 photo shows cauliflower mashed potatoes, bottom right, in New York. Not only is this purée tasty, smooth, and light, it’s also the perfect vehicle for any sauce…just like mashed potatoes. (Sara Moulton via AP)

Start to finish: 55 minutes (25 minutes hands-on)

Servings: 6

1 small head cauliflower (about 2 1/4 pounds), core removed and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided

Chopped chives for garnish

In a large skillet combine the cauliflower with the salt and 1 1/2 tablespoons of the butter cut into small chunks. Pour in enough water to reach just below the top of the cauliflower pieces, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the cauliflower is tender, about 10 minutes.

Transfer the cauliflower with a slotted spoon to a bowl and bring the liquid remaining in the pan back to a boil. Boil the liquid until it is reduced to about 1/3-1/2 of a cup. Working in two batches, transfer half of the cooked cauliflower to a blender and add half of the reduced liquid. Puree until smooth, scraping down the sides several times as necessary. Transfer the mixture to the skillet. Repeat the procedure with the remaining cauliflower and liquid and heat the puree in the skillet, stirring, just until hot. Add salt to taste and serve, topping each portion with a tiny slice of the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons butter and a sprinkling of chives.

Note: The puree can be made ahead and heated in a double boiler or the microwave.

Nutrition information per serving: 94 calories; 51 calories from fat; 6 g fat (4 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 15 mg cholesterol; 212 mg sodium; 9 g carbohydrates; 3 g fiber; 3 g sugar; 4 g protein.

Sara Moulton, Associated Press