I ate an entire bag of tortilla chips and a whole jar of warm sauce that way. It was research. It was research. Hang on, though; it makes a great cold chip or vegetable tray dip, too.
If you think you can’t eat all of this up — and you may surprise yourself once you start nibbling — in three or so days, divide it into small, meal-sized servings (a cup will beautifully coat almost a pound of pasta once cooked and drained), label, and freeze for those inevitable moments when you crave it and your car is socked in by snow. Hey. It’s Michigan. It could happen.
Creamy Cauliflower Garlic Sauce
(Recipe adapted very gently from Mary Younkin of Barefeet in the Kitchen)
1 medium to large size head cauliflower, washed and cut into small florets
6 c. water
5-8 cloves of garlic (use 8 if your garlic cloves are small or closer to 5 if they’re quite large)
1 ½ T. butter
1 ½ t. olive oil
1 ¼ t. kosher or sea salt plus a pinch, separated
½ - 1 t. freshly ground black pepper
Additional water, milk, or vegetable stock, if needed
In a stockpot or large saucepan, combine the cauliflower florets and water over high heat. When it reaches boiling, put a lid on the pan and drop the heat to medium low. Simmer for five minutes or until the cauliflower is very tender.
While the cauliflower is simmering, melt the butter and olive oil over medium low heat in a small saucepan and stir in the garlic and the pinch of salt. Cook the garlic, stirring frequently –and lowering the heat if necessary to keep it from browning- until the garlic is tender and smells lovely. Scrape the garlic and butter into a blender carafe. Add one cup of the cauliflower cooking liquid to the butter pan, swirl it, and pour that into the blender, too. Use a slotted spoon to drain the cauliflower and add it to the blender as well. Add the salt and black pepper, put the lid firmly in place, and blend on HIGH until silky smooth. If your blender is quite robust, this will only take a minute or so. If it’s a little anemic, it may take several minutes. If you find the sauce too thick for your liking, you can thin it just a bit with water, milk, or vegetable stock. I like it thicker, though, and so I usually omit this step.