The Ultimate Cauliflower Sauce

I am very excited to share something with you today that makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside. I don’t think it is to everyone’s tastes. I have served it to other people in the past and although they liked it, you can always tell how much by the fact that they do or don’t talk about it with you after the fact (or ask you how you did it). But this sauce is one of our favourites and a fab way of adding vegetables to a dish.

This sauce, for me is a hands down winner. I sometimes use it as a dipping sauce for goujons and chips in placement of the old standard ketchup or mayo. It is heavenly spread on toast with sprinkles of parmesan or crisp pancetta on top. But for me, I most often use it on pasta. My son loves this sauce on his pasta, and I mean, I never get a plate slid across the table in disapproval saying “no mummy, I no like it”, instead he wolfs it down and asks for seconds.

I am always looking for ways to increase the benefit of our family food. We do eat a lot of pasta, nothing wrong with this but I would love if my son ate a little more variety. So when my son is going through a strong pasta phase, I want to find ways to increase the nutrition in his meals. He actually eats a lot of vegetables but secret vegetable sauces can do no harm. My two go to sauces are veggie loaded tomato sauce (it usually has 7 of the veg my son won’t eat, hidden in it) and this brown butter cauliflower sauce. On its own, I agree it can be a little boring, but when topped with a few easy extras like my honey roasted brussels sprouts  and parmesan cheese, crispy pancetta, or a few crispy capers, then it is divine.

brown butter cauliflower puree


It is rich and creamy and velvety smooth and very versatile. A great sauce that takes little of our precious time and freezes really well for a quick, easy and stress free meal. Perfect for feeding fussy toddlers and giving them the nutrition they need.

  • 1 medium head of cauliflower, stalk trimmed down, florets broken up
  • 1.5 litres of milk (or stock)
  • 75 g butter
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 25 g grated parmesan
  • salt and pepper
  • extra parmesan cheese, capers or roasted veg to top (optional)


Break down the head of cauliflower into rough florets. Pop into a saucepan.

cutting cauliflower

Cover with the milk/stock (or half and half). I find poaching the cauliflower in milk, adds to its flavour and also makes it creamier. Turn the heat on and bring to a boil

As soon as the liquid reaches boiling, turn the heat down to a simmer and poach for 8 minutes. Turn the heat off and without draining the poaching liquid (reserve the liquid for later), scoop out the cauliflower and place in a blender. I use a Vitamix as it really gets it creamy and smooth.

cauliflower in milk

While the cauliflower cools slightly, make the butter.

Place the butter in a small pan and melt. Let it bubble away and you will start to see it darken in colour. Swirl it every so often. When it goes caramel in colour (about 4-5 minutes) turn off the heat.

butter 2

Add  three-quarters of the browned butter, the Dijon mustard, the 25 g of parmesan, some salt and pepper to the cauliflower and blend. If the sauce is too thick, add some of the poaching liquid.

You can fry some capers in the remaining browned butter until slightly crispy and top the sauce with them and drizzle the remaining butter over.

And that is it. Simple, quick and wholesome. Use the sauce on pasta, pizza, to top toast or to dip crudités into. So versatile!

brown butter cauliflower puree close up

brown butter cauliflower puree on pasta

brown butter cauliflower puree with sprouts

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