Growing tired of the regular cauliflower and sweet potato mashes / purees, I turned to my Vegetarian recipe books, The Modern Vegetarian in particular, which offers dramatically delicious and beautiful offerings to zhoosing up vegetables. This recipe excited me tremendously and in adapting this recipe to include sweet potatoes and cauliflower, and something altogether unexpected, my favourite, brinjal / eggplant, produced a mash of devinely epic proportions. The original recipe calls for ordinary potatoes and full fat cream with the brinjal grilled in an an oven. Adapting it to include cashew nut cream, a blend of soaked raw cashew nuts, delivers an amazing light textured mash with the addition of the steamed cauliflower. I would imagine the original recipe would be a very dense textured one.
In putting together this mash you begin by making small slashes in two large or 3 medium whole eggplants with a knife. Grill them in the oven at 180 degrees celsius and remove and allow to cool, cutting in half and removing the soft pulp. At the same time bake 2 large sweet potatoes until cooked and steam the cauliflower in a steamer until soft and done.
Once the eggplants have cooled, slice each in half, scoop out the smoky flesh, and discard the charred skin. Return the cooked cauliflower, sweet potatoes, and smoky eggplant to a mixing bowl, add in the cashew cream, and blend them all together. For those who don’t consume eggplant, you may omit. Use an immersion / stick blender to create a silky texture, but you can also use a potato masher or hand mixer if you prefer a sturdier mash. Then, you’ll season with salt, pepper, and a splash of apple cider vinegar (for a sour-cream-like tangy taste) and stir in a sprinkling of chopped chives.
For those with a preference for non-veg fare, this is the kind of mashed sweet potatoes that will accompany Paleo KFC!. I have not a smidgeon of doubt that this comfort food mashed sweet potato will become a firm favourite to many!
⅓ cup raw cashews
½ – ⅔ cup of water
2 medium to large brinjals / eggplants
2 large sweet potatoes (about 1kg)
1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
1½ – 1¾ tsp Himalayan or Sea salt or to taste
Freshly milled black pepper, to taste
Optional: ½ tblsp apple cider vinegar
½ cup finely chopped chives
- Add the cashews and water to a bowl and allow to soak for an hour.
- Make small slashes all over the eggplant with a knife and add to an oven tray and grill at 180 degrees celsius in an oven until done. This process takes about 20 minutes. Remove the eggplants to a colander and allow to cool.
- Once the eggplants have cooled, cut them in half lengthwise and, using a spoon, scoop out the fleshy pulp. Add the pulp to a bowl and set aside.
- Bake the sweet potatoes in the oven until cooked and add the cauliflower florets to a steamer and steam until soft and cooked. Once both are cooked, scoop the insides of the sweet potato into a bowl and add the cauliflower to the same bowl.
- Add the raw cashews and soaking water to a high-powered blender or food processor and blend on high for 1-2 minutes or until completely smooth.
- Add the cashew cream and the eggplant flesh to the bowl with the potatoes and cauliflower. If you want a super smooth mash, use an immersion / stick blender or food processor to puree the mash. If you want a thicker mash, beat the mashed potatoes with a hand mixer until smooth. Add in the salt, black pepper, and the apple cider vinegar (if desired) and continue to blend or mash.
- Top with the chopped chives and serve warm.
- The leftovers may be refrigerated, in an airtight container, for up to four days.