2 heads cauliflower, roughly chopped (both stalks and florets)
4 baby potatoes (about ½ pound), peeled and cut into 1.5" pieces
2 tablespoons plus 3 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons clarified butter, melted or ghee (do not use coconut oil)
1 bay leaf
¼ cup tomato paste (plus more for thickening, if necessary)
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons salt, plus more for seasoning
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for season
1 cup chicken stock
1 garlic clove, finely minced
2 cups fresh English peas, shelled (use frozen baby peas if you can't find fresh)
optional: finely diced fresh chives, for garnish
Grease a 9x13 baking dish with olive oil (using a pastry brush or paper towel); set aside.
Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat and add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add onions and gently saute until somewhat soft (this will take about 10 minutes, so you can move on to the other steps below and continue to keep an eye on the onions and stir every once in awhile).
When the onions are soft, add the celery and carrots and continue to cook over medium low heat until the carrots are soft and the celery is translucent. Add the minced garlic and cook for one more minute. Remove from heat and add the vegetables to a stockpot. Using a paper towel, clean out the skillet and return it to the stove (more on this later).
While the vegetables are cooking, put the potatoes into a pot and cover them with salted water, then place a lid on the pot. Heat the pot until the water is boiling and continue to cook the potatoes until the potatoes are easily pierced with a fork. Remove the potatoes from the water and set aside.
Return the water to boiling and add the cauliflower. Boil for about 5-10 minutes until the cauliflower is soft enough to be easily pierced by a fork. Drain the cauliflower into a colander and set the colander with the cauliflower still in it back into the pot. Add the potatoes to the colander. Put the pot on a cool part of the stove or on a trivet and let the cauliflower dry. This is called steam drying and is a very important step in making the cauliflower puree -- you need the cauliflower to be almost completely dry before making the puree, or it will be too watery.
In the same skillet that you cooked the vegetables, brown the ground turkey in another tablespoon of olive oil over high heat in batches until all of the turkey is cooked through. Add the turkey to the stock pot with the cooked vegetables. Add the bay leaf, balsamic vinegar, tomato paste, salt and pepper and chicken stock and heat everything on medium high heat until it's simmering. Reduce the heat to low and continue to simmer for 25-30 minutes until everything is well incorporated and reduced into a meat sauce.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees (if you are making the cottage pie right away).
Once the cauliflower and potatoes are pretty dry to the touch, pour the potatoes and cauliflower into a food processor with another tablespoon of olive oil and the butter and puree the mixture by pulsing it (don't turn it on auto or it might get too liquidy). You may have to do this in batches. Taste the cauliflower and potato mixture, then add salt and pepper to taste.
Once the ground turkey mixture has simmered and reduced into a glossy sauce, stir the peas through the sauce and pour the mixture into the 9x13 baking dish. Spread the ground turkey mixture evenly across the bottom of the dish, then drop spoonfuls of the cauliflower and potato mixture on top all over the ground turkey. Using a rubber spatula, spread the cauliflower and potato mixture evenly across the top. At this point, you can cover the dish and refrigerate it for up to 2 days before baking, or continue to the next step.
Bake the cottage pie in the oven for 30-40 minutes until the sides are browned and bubbly. Let stand for 10-15 minutes, then serve.
Recipe by Grits and Chopsticks at https://www.gritsandchopsticks.com/the-gravy-train/2017/07/whole30-ground-turkey-and-cauliflower-cottage-pie.html