This Chickpea Piccata with Cauliflower Mashed 'Potatoes' is a healthy, vegetarian twist on traditional Piccata. Plump, tender chickpeas in a smooth, buttery piccata sauce with notes of lemon and nuances of white wine, served over cauliflower mock mashed potatoes. This dish is so delicious you won't miss the meat at all!
Make the Cauliflower Mash: In a large pot, bring 1 cup chicken stock* and 1 teaspoon salt to a boil. Add the cauliflower and return to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and steam cauliflower for 18-20 minutes, or until cauliflower is very tender.
Drain the cauliflower and transfer to a food processor*. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter and add it to the food processor along with the milk. Process until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides of the processor as necessary. (Add extra milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, if a thinner consistency is desired). Add cheese to food processor and pulse until the cheese is just combined. Taste and adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper.*
Meanwhile, make the Chickpea Piccata: Melt 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the shallot and sauté until softened, about 2 minutes. Add in the garlic, ¼ teaspoon of salt and 1/8 teaspoon of pepper. Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. (*Optional - For a thicker sauce, sprinkle in the flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring.)
Add the wine, increase heat to medium-high and cook until reduced and thickened, about 4 minutes.
Add the chicken stock, lemon juice and chickpeas to the pan. Cook until liquid is again reduced and the chickpeas are warmed through, about 5 minutes. Remove pan from heat and stir in 3 tablespoons of butter, capers, and parsley until melted and sauce is velvety, about 1 minute. Taste and adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper.
To Serve: Divide cauliflower mash evenly among plates and make a small well in the center. Top with chickpeas and piccata sauce. Garnish with lemon slices, grated parmesan and parsley. Enjoy!
1. When steaming the cauliflower, you can substitute water, or broth, for the stock. You can use a combination of stock and water. I use stock because it adds a lot of flavor.2. When preparing the cauliflower for the mash, you will want to cut the head of cauliflower into florets, and then cut the florets into roughly ½ - 1’’ pieces. You don’t need to be exact. Just know if you leave your pieces of cauliflower on the larger side, they will take longer to become completely soft when steaming, so you will need to add a few minutes to the cook time.3. If you have an immersion blender, I recommend you use it when making the cauliflower mash, instead of transferring everything to the food processor. Simply drain the cauliflower and return it back to the pot and follow the instructions as directed, adding the butter and milk, then stir in the parmesan cheese.4. If you want to save time, the cauliflower mash can be made up to 3 days in advance, and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. To reheat, place the mash in a small saucepan over low heat and cook until warmed throughout, stirring occasionally. Add a splash or two of more milk or butter if desired.5. If you want your piccata sauce a little thicker and creamier, you can add a little bit of flour. You will want to add it to the pan after the garlic, and before the wine. I included the optional instructions in the recipe below, but make sure you cook (and stir) the flour for at least a minute to cook off the raw flour taste. I have made the piccata sauce both with, and without, the addition of flour, and I personally like it without the flour. I find the sauce to be more velvety, delicate and buttery without the flour, but like always, I encourage you to make this recipe your own!