Copyright by Jacqueline Peppard, all rights reserved.
Is it puree or is it a mash? The two terms are used interchangeably as if the same. Puree, known more recently as mash, is an easy way to dress up just about any vegetable or rescue ones that have resided in the fridge a bit too long escaping notice. It is a process where food has been finely mashed or strained to achieve a thick pulp like consistency. While I may be accused of splitting hairs, a mash usually retains large irregular chucks and lacks a smooth texture. In most cases, you will need a food processor, blender or food mill. For those on a budget, stainless steel food mills can be purchased for as little as $50.00. If you can afford it, a food processor will be the most versatile, easy to use, and will last you a lifetime – well worth the extra bucks.
Broccoli puree first crossed my radar in the late seventies and remains my favorite today. There is something about the bright green that says happy, plus it pairs so well with any meat dish. While I could devote a whole chapter to puree recipes alone, the following broccoli puree recipe provides a solid template for future forays with other vegetables such as the ubiquitous cauliflower mash, or for more exotic concoctions such as spiced butternut squash and apple, carrot and chestnut, beet and apple, celery root and potato. You are limited only by your imagination.
The 3 keys to perfect puree are: 1) peel, roast, boil or steam your vegetable/fruit well, so it purees into a dense smooth pulp; 2) in the case of green veggies, blanch immediately, so the cooking process is stopped and color is not lost; and finally, 3) drain well or you end up with soup.
Broccoli & Nutmeg Cream Puree
Prep in advance of meal and warm just prior to serving.
4 lbs broccoli
4 TSP butter melted
1 cup cream warmed
1 TSP fresh grated nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste
Begin heating 2 quarts of water on high.
In a small pan, warm 1 cup cream to lukewarm; add 4 TBS butter and melt; set aside.
Place colander in sink.
Remove broccoli head from stem and chop into 1 inch sized florets. Peel stem and cut into 1/4 inch slices.
Prepare a large bowl of ice water; set aside.
Drop stems into boiling water, turn down to medium high and simmer 3 minutes.
After 3 minutes drop florets into water with stems and simmer an additional 3 minutes until tender. Reserve a few whole florets to use as garnish.
Remove from heat, drain, and plunge into cold water (blanch). Repeat if necessary to arrest cooking. Drain thoroughly and place on a clean towel to drain a bit further. Add to food processor or mill and puree in batches with cream and butter mixture. Add just enough cream to food processor to keep the blade moving.
When all is pureed, mix together the cream or remaining cream if necessary, 1 TSP nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste.
Prep in advance of meal and warm just prior to serving. Place in casserole dish and garnish with small broccoli florets.
Like what you see? While this recipe is open to all, some are exclusive and available for subscribers only. Don’t miss out! Sign up and receive monthly recipes in your email box, future exclusive recipes, private Q&A’s, giveaways, blog post notices, and more!