Broccoli mash, you are my new passion! I’ve made cauliflower mash oh so many times and loved it. It’s a great substitution for potatoes. No I don’t fool myself by thinking it tastes like potatoes. Admit it, nothing tastes like mashed potatoes. But I will argue strongly that it is just as good as mashed potatoes.
When I saw a guest on The Chew making broccoli mash, I had to try it. Very few ingredients, and it looked very easy to make. He basically followed the steps I take to make cauliflower mash, but he added a cup of ricotta. Oh my, that must be creamy and rich and so good, my tummy growled.
I had two large bunches of broccoli that looked the same amount as he had used, and cut them up into large florets. I didn’t get fussy and make them small; they will steam and fall apart somewhat anyway.
I placed them in a large saucepan and added a little water. I admit I didn’t measure it, but it wasn’t more than a half cup at most. I set the saucepan on the burner and brought it to boiling on high, then turned it down to medium and put a lid on it. I set the timer for 8 minutes.
The broccoli was tender and not mushy, 8 minutes was a good length of time. I turned the heat back to high and let it cook for 2-3 minutes and the water cooked all out. I learned that trick doing so much cauli mash, and it works every time. You don’t pour off any water that contains healthy vitamins and such.
I stirred in 2 tablespoons of butter and when it was melted I added it to my food processor. I’d already added the cup of ricotta, olive oil, and garlic powder.
I gave it a few pulses, then removed the lid and scraped it down. I pulsed it twice again and taste tested for salt and pepper. Ugh! Needed salt desperately! I added about ½ teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon of black pepper, pulsed it to mix and tasted again. Ugh still! Added ½ teaspoon more of both salt and pepper, pulsed it again and it was good.
But the broccoli mash was lacking in something. I decided it needed Parmesan. Just a cup that would add some snap to the mash. I pulsed it again and tasted. Perfection!
This broccoli mash recipe was part of Weight Watchers choosing a chef to make good recipes for them, so I have a guilty look when I say I added the extra tablespoon of butter and that cup of Parmesan. There is fat and calories and that is just naughty. But I’m not on the program so I’m going to shrug and say “It tastes great this way!” If you’re on the program, reduce the butter to 1 tablespoon and omit the Parmesan. Or not. I won’t tell!
3 large bunches broccoli
4 cloves garlic (or 1 teaspoon garlic powder, which is what I used)
¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup low-fat ricotta cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste
Cut broccoli into large flortes. Cut up a lot of the stalk into pieces as well. Place in a large saucepan with ½ cup water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to medium and cook covered for 8 minutes.
Uncover and increase heat to high, cooking 2 or 3 minutes more until the water has cooked away. Add butter to broccoli, stirring until melted.
Measure ricotta, olive oil and garlic powder into a blender or food processor. Add broccoli and pulse for 30 seconds a couple of times. Scrape down the sides and pulse again 2 or 3 short times.
Add parmesan, salt and pepper and pulse again. Taste test, adding salt and pepper as desired.
Adapted from The Chew.