I'm-On-Cloud-9 Dreamy Vegan Mashed Potatoes
This is a far cry from your typical bland mash of lonely potatoes. This is a mash of potatoes, cauliflower, and something altogether unexpected and secret: smoked eggplant. All credit for this secret (and genius) trick goes to Maria Elia, author of The Modern Vegetarian. Her book was my first vegetarian cookbook purchase, and she uses vegetables in the most beautiful way. Her smoky mash contains potatoes, smoked eggplant, and lots of cream, so I figured it was time to veganize it. The original recipe also creates a dense, heavy mash, so I transformed the texture into a lighter, airier one with the addition of cauliflower.
Servings: 6 -8
- ⅓ cup raw cashews
- ⅔ cup water
- 2 medium to large eggplants
- 2 pounds russet potatoes (about 4 medium), peeled and cut into chunks
- 1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
- 1 ½ - 1 ¾ teaspoons sea salt or to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- ½ tablespoons white wine vinegar (optional)
- ½ cup finely chopped chives
Add the cashews and water to a bowl and set aside to soak.
Heat a large grill pan or grill.
Prick the eggplants all over with a fork and place on the grill or grill pan. Char on all sides, turning every few minutes, until blackened. This process takes 15-20 minutes. Place the eggplants in a colander and let cool.
Once the eggplants have cooled, cut them in half lengthwise and, using a spoon, scoop out the flesh. Place the flesh in a bowl and set aside.
Add the potatoes and cauliflower florets to a large stock pan that has been filled with cold water. Cover and heat on high for 25-30 minutes or until the potatoes are fork-tender. Drain and return the cauliflower and potatoes to the pot.
Add the raw cashews and soaking water to a high-powered blender. Blend on high for 1-2 minutes or until completely smooth.
Add the cashew cream and the eggplant flesh to the pot with the potatoes and cauliflower. If you want a super smooth mash, use an immersion blender to puree the mash (this is what I do). If you want a thicker mash, beat the mashed potatoes with a hand mixer until smooth. Add in the sea salt, black pepper, and white wine vinegar (if desired) and continue to blend or mash.
Stir in the chopped chives.