No need for mayo in this Creamy Cauliflower Puree Potato Salad! A healthy, make-ahead side full of flavor and texture with hard boiled eggs, celery, shallots, pickles, mustard, lemon, and fresh herbs.
When swapping out mayonnaise for a healthier alternative to dress a salad, the benefit for your body comes down to basic math. One cup of pureed cauliflower has just 70 calories, marginal fat, and loaded with vitamins C and K. A cup of mayonnaise, ahem, has a staggering 1500 calories, 160 grams of fat, 24 grams of which is saturated fat, and 1400 mg of sodium with zero vitamin or mineral nutritional value.
Now you may not be consuming a full cup of mayo even with a heaping pile of traditional potato salad on your plate, but chances are there’s more than 2 ¼ teaspoons which would be the 70-calorie equivalent. Yikes! Now I’m all for enjoying everything in moderation, but I’d totally rather pocket those calories for something I could really savor.
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Cauliflower has been taking the world over by storm with everything from cauliflower steaks, barbecued cauliflower, cauliflower rice, shaved cauliflower, buffalo cauliflower to whole roasted cauliflower. Pureed cauliflower has even become popular on fine dining menus because of its silky, creamy texture. It’s the perfect pillow to nestle seared scallops, shrimp and caramelized fish. That signature texture along with its mildly nutty, sweet nuances make it an excellent candidate to replace mayonnaise in salads. Its subtlety also matches up well with flavors of other vegetables and dressing ingredients, like dijon mustard, lemon, fresh parsley and dill.
To puree cauliflower, you can boil or steam it. Steaming with an insert or boil basket keeps the amount of liquid absorbed lower than when the cauliflower is directly in the water. You want the florets to become tender yet maintain their integrity without turning into watery mush. I added some of the steaming liquid in the food processor when pureeing, but you may not need to if you didn’t use an insert in your stock pot.
Once the cauliflower is pureed and the potatoes are cooked, all you need is a large bowl to mix the line up together. This is such a great, make-ahead side dish for potlucks and backyard barbecues. Serve it cold or at room temperature and watch it disappear. Enjoy!
If you’re looking for more healthy and delicious side dish recipes, check out our
- Sweet Potato Salad with Blood Orange Vinaigrette
- Asian Red Cabbage Slaw
- Grilled Cantaloupe Black Bean Salad
- Baby Potato & Green Bean Salad
Creamy Cauliflower Puree Potato Salad
- 1 head of cauliflower, about 2 lbs
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 ½ - 3 lbs russet potatoes, peeled, cut into ½-inch dice
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 1 ½ - 2 cups cauliflower puree
- 1 ½ tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 ½ tablespoons yellow mustard
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 large hard boiled eggs, chopped
- ¾ cup diced celery
- ½ cup diced shallots
- ½ cup diced dill pickles
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Cut out the core of the cauliflower. Break florets into 1 ½-inch pieces with your fingers, or use a knife, and place into a steamer insert.
- Bring about an inch of water to a boil in a large stock pot, add the insert, cover and cook for about 20 minutes.
- Florets should be tender enough for a paring knife to be inserted easily, but not mushy. Stir the cauliflower a few times while steaming to ensure even cooking.
- Transfer about half of the florets to a food processor. Reserve ¾ cup of the steaming liquid.
- Pour ¼ cup in the processor and puree until smooth. Add the remaining cauliflower and another ¼ cup of liquid. Puree again until smooth. Stop to scrape the sides of the bowl a few times.
- Mix in butter, salt and pepper. Add more liquid if needed, a teaspoon or two at a time until light and creamy without becoming watery.
- Makes about 3 cups. Let cool, cover and chill. You’ll need about 1 ½ cups for the potato salad; reserve the rest to enjoy on its own or in another recipe. (Can be made 2 days ahead.)
- Cook potatoes in a large pot of boiling, salted water until just tender, 8-10 minutes. Drain then transfer to a large bowl.
- Squeeze lemon juice over hot potatoes. Add zest and toss gently. Let stand 5 minutes.
- In a medium bowl, stir cauliflower puree, Dijon and yellow mustard, and olive oil together until well combined. Pour over potatoes and toss to coat. Let cool completely.
- Mix in hard boiled eggs, celery, shallots, pickles, parsley, and dill. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Transfer to serving bowl and garnish with additional egg wedges and fresh herbs, if desired. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.) Serve cold or at room temperature.
* Inspired by Wegmans Magazine, Summer 2018