Cauliflower Hash with Portobello Mushrooms and Brown Gravy

by Mary Pomerantz

Cauliflower Mash

Here’s another recipe featuring the versatile vegetable cauliflower.  Cauliflower is from the species Brassica oleracea, in the family Brassicaceae.  It’s a good source of protein, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, magnesium and phosphorus, and a very good source of dietary fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B6, potassium and manganese. And it’s very tasty.  It is mild enough to blend with other foods and not overwhelm them.  I saw a recipe on the internet that inspired this recipe.  The blogger only included cauliflower and spices in what she called a mash.  I wanted to add a bit more substance and some protein to the dish.  I used quinoa and chick peas to accomplish this.  The hash is placed on a bed of brown gravy and topped with a grilled portobello mushroom.  Serve it with a side of steamed broccoli and you have a very festive meal.

Hash Ingredients

  • 1 head cauliflower, trimmed and cut into medium florets
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, minced
  • 1 teaspoon oil (I used coconut)
  • 1 can no sodium or low sodium chick peas
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 2 teaspoons tahini (sesame paste)
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup water or vegetable broth
  • juice of 1 1/2 lemons, about 1/3 cup of juice
  • salt and pepper to taste

Hash Preparation

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Toss the cauliflower with the oil.  Place it on a lined cookie sheet or in a large flat casserole dish.  Roast for 15 minutes.

While the cauliflower is cooking, saute the onions.  I sauteed enough minced onions to add some to the gravy.  Also, either grill or pan fry the mushrooms and cook the broccoli.

Drain and rinse the chick peas.  Place them in a food processor with the tahini, lemon juice and water.  The consistency after processing should be about that of hummus.  I started out with 1/3 of a cup but added more water as it wasn’t enough.  Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl and add the quinoa, oregano and onions.

When the cauliflower is finished roasting, put it in the food processor and pulse it until mealy.  Add it to the chick pea mixture and mix thoroughly. Place the mash in a casserole dish and put it back in the oven while you make the gravy and the broccoli.

Gravy Base Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 cups nutritional yeast
  • 2 Tablespoons dried parsley
  • 1 Tablespoon dried dill weed
  • 2 Tablespoons onion powder
  • 1 Tablespoon rosemary
  • 1 Tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 Tablespoon basil

Preparation

In a small bowl, mix all the ingredients well and store in a container in the refrigerator. This mix can be used as a base for soups and sauces.

Brown Gravy Ingredients

1/2 cup gravy base (recipe above)
1/2 cup unbleached flour or 1/3 cup gluten-free flour
4 cups water or vegetable stock (vegetable stock adds more flavor)
2 tablespoons oil (I used coconut)
1 teaspoon Kitchen Bouquet, or to desired color
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, or to taste

Gravy Preparation

Put flour, water or vegetable stock, oil, and Kitchen Bouquet in a blender and pulse until mixed.  Add liquid to pan with salt and pepper.  Whisk at medium heat continually until gravy thickens.  If you don’t whisk while the gravy thickens, you could end up with lumpy gravy!  Adjust salt and pepper to taste.  If color is not brown enough to your liking, add more Kitchen Bouquet.

Note: Kitchen Bouquet is a commercial flavoring, coloring product found in grocery stores.  If you wish to omit it, a suitable substitute is Marmite, a brown yeasty product found in some grocery stores and natural food stores.  It is quite salty and you may need to adjust the salt if you use it.  Alternatively, you could leave both of these products out and you will have a nice golden colored gravy.

To Assemble

Place a couple of tablespoons of gravy on a plate.  Add about 3/4 cup of the hash.  Top with a portobello mushroom.  Serve with broccoli or vegetable of choice and more gravy if you wish.

 

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