Cauliflower is getting it’s moment in the sun if you haven’t noticed – I haven’t tried the cauliflower pizza crust (on purpose), but I’m generally very pro-cauliflower. I typically just roast it like I do broccoli, with olive oil and salt and pepper in a high heat oven. When I came across a recipe for risotto that used chopped cauliflower instead of arborio rice, I was intrigued.
Now, I won’t be a big fat liar and rave about how much better this was than standard risotto – I can’t think of any possible way to improve upon that creamy dish because it’s pretty freakin’ great. What I will say (and I swear I’m not fabricating this story) is that my husband remarked half way through dinner that he “loved the risotto”. I had been eating and enjoying mine while knowing what it was made from – but he, in the dark, praised the risotto. He honestly didn’t realize it was made from cauliflower!
Cauliflower is super good for you – full of antioxidants and detoxifiers. It’s also 27 calories per cup. For real. This dish requires a food processor to chop it on up but other than that it’s pretty easy. Also, because it’s thickened with beans it’s high in protein. Can’t say it’s toddler approved because though I kept telling her how similar the cauliflower was to “pasta”, she refused try. Her loss.
Cauliflower “Rice” Risotto with Mushrooms and Blue Cheese
1 tbsp. olive oil
8 oz. white mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 c. dry white wine
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1 large head cauliflower, chopped into florets.
1 (15 oz) can cannelini beans, drained and rinsed
1 c. chicken broth
1/3 c. blue cheese crumbles
Sliced scallions – optional topping
1. Add oil to large saucepan set over medium high heat. Add mushrooms and onion and saute for about 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and water has evaporated.
2. Add garlic, salt and pepper and stir to combine. Let cook until garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds.
3. Add wine and thyme and let simmer until mostly reduced, about 5 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, add cauliflower florets (a little at a time for even chopping) to food processor and pulse until pieces are about the size of rice. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
5. Add beans and broth to processor and process until smooth.
6. Add cauliflower and bean mixture to saucepan and bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until cauliflower is tender.
7. Turn off heat and stir in blue cheese. Add more salt, to taste, before serving. Serve, topped with scallions if desired.