Make Ahead

Creamy Cauliflower Puree with Fenugreek

August  9, 2010
4 Ratings
  • Serves 6 to 8
Author Notes

My fridge is loaded with fruits and veggies, sending subliminal messages of health across my apartment. I was seriously in the throes of a carb-craving the other day, and with nothing other than fruits and veggies decided to get a little creative. The result? A lusciously, creamy cauliflower puree flecked with crushed fenugreek leaves.

Okay, so in reality, this still has butter and some milk, but it’s definitely better for you than equally buttery mashed potatoes. The cauliflower, cooked until super tender, is fresh and creamy when pureed. Fenugreek, as a seasoning, is used in so many different cultures – South Asian, Ethiopian (like in the clarified butter), Iranian, Turkish, Afghani…to name a few. I chose the leaves here over the seeds because the flavor of the leaves is much more subtle and lacks the typical bitterness of the seeds. Fenugreek leaves have a flavor not unlike celery, and, when warm, emit a sweetness of sorts.

This is a sinfully easy side dish to make. - aliyaleekong —aliyaleekong

Test Kitchen Notes

Aliyaleekong's puree is comforting and creamy without weighing you down. The fenugreek leaves add a subtle extra vegetal dimension to the sweet, clean cauliflower puree, but her technique would adapt well to other herbs if you can't track down fenugreek. (This worked great as a soup too, by thinning the puree with the leftover milk from simmering). - Kristen —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 2 large heads of cauliflower, cored and cut into even-sized florets
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 6 cups milk
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 ½ tsps ground fenugreek leaves*
  • chopped chives
  • salt & freshly ground pepper
  1. In a medium pot, bring cauliflower, garlic, a pinch of salt and milk up to a simmer. Do not boil. Simmer covered for 12-15 minutes or until cauliflower is very tender.
  2. Strain cauliflower and garlic from milk mixture, reserving both. Melt butter with ground fenugreek in a small saucepot for 5 to 7 minutes.
  3. Puree cauliflower in a blender with 1-1 ¼ cups of reserved milk and melted fenugreek butter, working in batches if necessary. Adjust milk amount based on desired texture of the puree. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper and garnish with chives.
  4. *In order to grind the fenugreek leaves without any of the stems, place a small sieve over a paper towel. Add fenugreek leaves and crush the leaves between your fingers and/or against the sieve, itself. The ground fenugreek will fall through the sieve onto the paper towel.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • aliyaleekong
  • adamnsvetcooking
Chef, Author - Exotic Table: Flavors, Inspiration & Recipes from Around the World to Your Kitchen, Mom to a chickadee ?

2 Reviews

aliyaleekong August 11, 2010
Hi! Thanks - I'm glad you enjoyed the recipe. Fenugreek leaves can be found at most Indian and Middle Eastern specialty stores. The seeds are more widely found (Dean & Deluca even carries them). You can definitely order them from Kalustyan's ( - that's where I got mine!
adamnsvetcooking August 11, 2010
Hi there, your recipe sounds amazing! Where did you find fenugreek?