Cauliflower is a very versatile vegetable. Besides serving it as a side dish or with a dip, you can make faux breadsticks, pizza crust, mashed "potatoes," and even risotto. Each time that I have used cauliflower in a non-traditional way (mashed "potatoes" or breadsticks), I have been so impressed, which leaves me inspired to keep playing with more creative ways to use cauliflower.
Enter cauliflower risotto!
With the food processor, you can turn the cauliflower into "rice" in a matter of seconds. Oooh, fancy schmancy! If you don't have a food processor, you could just use a regular shredder, which will be a little messier and take a little longer.
I had a small amount of arborio rice left in my pantry, so I still used that in this risotto just to help keep the texture of the risotto more like a traditional risotto. (Besides, that almost empty box of risotto was driving me nuts. I mean, there's enough rice in the box to make 2 different meals of risotto, but the remaining amount leftover is not enough to make another meal. Ah, this kind of reminds me of George Banks and the infamous hot dog and hot dog bun scene.)
The technique of cooking this risotto is similar to the normal risotto technique, so there's lots of stirring and pouring liquids in phases. And, one of those liquids is wine. OH YEAH!!
"I love to cook with wine, sometimes I even put in the food."
Risotto can be a more intimidating dish to make, so many the Risotto Gods decided that wine was necessary so people would feel less stressed while making it? Either way, a glass of wine sure helps with all that stirring.
I added in some crispy prosciutto to the final dish, which brought the right amount of saltiness to the dish.
See, you can have your risotto and eat vegetables, too. What is your favorite cauliflower recipe?
Yields 4 servings (as a main dish)
1 head cauliflower
1 shallot, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp. butter
2/3 cup arborio rice
2 tbsp. olive oil3/4 cup white wine
3 cups chicken broth
1 cup Parmesan Reggiano, Asiago, and/or Pecorino Romano
2 tsp. dried parsley
3 slices of prosciutto, optional
Salt and pepper, to taste
First, it's time to turn the cauliflower into risotto. Cut the florets off the top of the cauliflower, and put the chopped cauliflower in the food processor. Pulse the cauliflower until it is finely chopped.
Second, heat the chicken broth. Place the chicken broth into a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, and then allow to simmer.
Next, let's start cooking the cauliflower and the rice. Add butter to a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the shallot and garlic, and cook for a minute. Then, add the cauliflower, and continue stirring. Meanwhile, add olive oil to skillet over medium-high heat. Add the arborio rice and coat in olive oil. After about three minutes or when the rice has turned a light, golden color, remove the skillet from the heat, and carefully transfer the rice into the saucepan. (Keep the skillet nearby, and don't bother washing it yet--you will still need it.) Add the wine to the saucepan, and continue stirring until the wine has evaporated.
Add 1/2 cup of the simmering broth. Stir until it is almost completely absorbed by the rice, about 2 minutes. Continue adding 1/2 cup of broth at a time, and stir constantly and allow each addition of broth to absorb before adding the next. This process can take about 20 minutes.
While the broth absorbs, crisp the prosciutto. Bring the skillet (that you used for the rice) to medium heat. Add the prosciutto slices to the skillet, and allow them to crisp on each side (about 1 minute per side). After the prosciutto is crispy, turn the heat off and allow the prosciutto to cool.
After the last amount of broth has finished absorbing, remove the risotto from the heat. Add in the parsley, and stir. Then, break up the prosciutto, and stir it into the risotto. Finally, add the cup of cheese. Season with any additional salt or pepper, as desired.
Source: A Simply Sweet Justice Original