Cauliflower puree

  • 4 Servings
  • 40mPrep Time
  • 20mCook Time
  • 60mReady In
  • Category : Food
  • Subcategory : Salads and vegetables
  • Main Ingredient : Cauliflower
  • Chef : Jerome Bacle

A vastly underrated vegetable, rarely seen on American menus, cauliflower (Brassica oleracea botrytis) is actually a cluster of immature flower buds. Its name contracts the Latin for “cabbage flower,” and it comes from the same cruciferous family, along with broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale and collard greens. It has a mild, nutty, lightly tangy flavor, and it readily meshes with all sorts of seasonings and ingredients. Mark Twain called it “cabbage with a college education.”



Cauliflower puree:
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup chopped shallots
  • 3 cups coarsely chopped cauliflower
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon French purple mustard (available at gourmet shops; tarragon mustard may substitute)
  • Salt and pepper




  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 6-ounce fillets Atlantic stone bass (aka Carolina wreckfish), or other fish such as striped bass, grouper, Lake Erie bass or walleyed pike


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup Nicoise olives, pitted and cut in half
  • 1 pint teardrop tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon chopped basil
  • 8 pieces baby fennel, cleaned and trimmed
  • Salt and pepper to taste



Make the puree: Heat a medium pan over medium heat, the oil and butter and cook the shallots and cauliflower till soft. Stir in the cream, scraping the pan, and simmer until thick.

Season with salt and pepper and puree in a blender, add the purple mustard, blend again and adjust seasoning if necessary. Strain.

Make the sauce: Follow any standard recipe for beurre blanc, adding 2 sprigs of lemon thyme. After straining, infuse 2 more sprigs in the very hot sauce for about 10 minutes. Keep warm.

Cook the fish: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Season the fish with salt and pepper. Heat a skillet with olive oil over high heat. Sear the fish to give a nice coloration on one side, and then flip it in the pan and add a bit of butter; put it the hot oven for 6 to 8 minutes, remove, and let it rest on a rack for 4 to 5 minutes.

Prepare the vegetables: Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet and quickly saute the olives and tomatoes; add chopped garlic and herbs.

Oil the baby fennel and season with salt. Grill or saute till crisp tender.

To serve: Divide the puree among four plates. Mix the sauce with a hand blender to make the emulsion nice, and pour around the puree. Top with the vegetables and fish.