This Healthy Cauliflower Risotto dish is a lightened version of risotto and it doesn’t compromise one bit on flavor! It uses a mixture of arborio rice and finely chopped cauliflower and you cook it as you would a risotto.
You get about 15% of the carbs since the ratio of rice to cauliflower is about 1:6. You sauté the cauliflower and rice kernels in a bit of olive oil and garlic, then some wine and then you start incorporating the broth. Each step is building another layer of flavor.
It is important to get the right texture in the finished dish. To get the most pleasing texture aim to chop the cauliflower, flowers and stems, to the size of a cooked piece of arborio rice. A cooked kernel of arborio rice is about double the size of an uncooked kernel. This way when you are eating it there is no noticeable difference – it is not like you are having cauliflower with some bits of rice in it! You don’t want that!
Then you finish it with flavorful cheese -baby parmesan (not the aged, dry kind) or asiago cheese. Do not use the dry aged parmesan or the store bought ground parmesan- they are too dry. You want a youngish cheese to lend creaminess to the finished dish.
It is delicious! I serve it with my Italian Inspired Cod and it is a perfect combination!
The recipe makes about 8 cups so it is large enough to feed a crowd or cook once, eat twice! It holds well in the fridge for a day or so. I have never tried freezing it – I don’t think the texture would be palatable after thawing and freezing.
The recipe was originally published in the LCBO Food & Drink magazine and guess what? They recommended one of my favorite wines – Kacaba Uoaked Chardonny VQA! At $14.95 it is wonderful versatile, clean chardonnay (enjoyed often at my house!).
- 1 medium yellow onion finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 4 Tbsps butter divided 2 +2
- 1/2 cup arborio rice
- 1 medium cauliflower about 6 cups finely chopped
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 3 cups chicken stock (sub vegetable stock for vegetarian)
- 6 oz Baby parmesan cheese, grated you can substiture Asiago (do not use the aged dry parmesan)
- fresh dill weed or parsely chopped for garnish
- Melt2 Tbsps butter in a large sauce pan that will be large enough to hold the finished dish.
- Add the onion and sauté over medium heat about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook another 2 minutes. Add the rice and cook another 3 minutes or so til rice is coated with butter and a bit toasty.
- Add the wine and stir until it evaporates and/or is absorbed by the rice. This will take only a couple of minutes.
- Add the chopped cauliflower and 1 cup of chicken stock. Allow it bubble until absorbed - about 8 minutes. Add another cup of stock and cook a further 8 minutes or so. Add the final cup of stock and cook another 8 minutes or so.
- Add the last 2 Tbsps butter and the cheese and stir over medium heat until it is melted and creamy.
- Taste to adjust salt and pepper seasoning to taste. (I don't typically add any of either).
- Seve garnished with chopped fresh herbs.