The cauliflower crumb crust adds welcome crunchy texture and lovely buttery-parmesan flavor (with no bread!) to creamy mashed potatoes.
- Cauliflower Crumb:
- 1/2 medium head cauliflower cut into florets
- 1/3 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese grated
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Mashed Potatoes:
- 3 pounds Russet potatoes peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 cup half and half
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
- Preheat the oven to 425°F.
- For the cauliflower: Place the florets in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the size of small grains of rice. Transfer to a bowl and mix in the cheese, oil, basil and salt. Spread onto a 11x17-inch baking sheet in a single layer. Bake 10 minutes then stir the cauliflower. Bake an additional 8-10 minutes, stirring cauliflower again after 5 minutes, until golden brown (there may be spots that aren’t brown and that’s normal). Remove from the oven.
- For mashed potatoes: Combine the potatoes in a 3.5-qt saucepan with enough cold water to cover by 2-inches. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, until the potatoes are very tender, 14-16 minutes. Drain the potatoes then return to the saucepan. Meanwhile, combine the half and half and butter in a small saucepan and heat over medium until the butter melts and the mixture is hot. Add the butter mixture, salt and pepper to the potatoes and mash until smooth.
- Transfer the potatoes to a baking dish. Top evenly with the cauliflower and serve warm.