Sweet potatoes generally get one of three treatments at the Thanksgiving table.
They are mashed like regular potatoes, they are roasted like squash or they are saturated with sugar until they no longer resemble a vegetable.
We decided there had to be an alternative. We still mashed them, but we also doctored them up with a second mash — a purée of cauliflower and Parmesan cheese. The sweet and savory of those ingredients play so wonderfully together, you’ll never go back to the three usual suspects.
Makes 8 servings
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4 large sweet potatoes
16 ounces cauliflower florets, fresh or frozen
4 tablespoons butter, divided
Zest of 1 orange
Salt and ground black pepper
1 cup shredded Parmesan
1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Poke the sweet potatoes all over with a fork.
2. Place the sweet potatoes directly on the oven’s center rack and bake directly on the rack for 1 hour, or until completely tender.
3. While the sweet potatoes cook, steam the cauliflower. Set a steamer basket in a medium saucepan with ½ inch of water. Place the saucepan over medium-high heat and add the cauliflower to the steamer basket. Cover and cook until the cauliflower is very tender, about 15 minutes. Remove the cauliflower from the steamer and set aside.
4. When the sweet potatoes are baked, let them cool until easily handled. Peel the sweet potatoes, then place the flesh in a large bowl. Add 3 tablespoons of the butter and the orange zest, then mash well. Season with salt and pepper, cover the bowl and set aside.
5. Place the steamed cauliflower and the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter in the food processor. Process until puréed. Add the Parmesan, then pulse to combine. Add the cauliflower purée to the sweet potatoes, using a spoon to swirl the two together without completely mixing them.
Alison Ladman, The Associated Press