Cauliflower risotto has a delicate but wonderful nutty flavor that goes very well with fish or scallops, pork, or chicken. If you’re serving as its own course, I’d suggest roasting some florets and scattering them on the risotto. Please note that I’m writing this recipe assuming you know the basics of cooking risotto. If not, find a recipe for a basic risotto and make sure you understand the process before trying this.
1/2 Head of Cauliflower, stalk and florets
4 Cups chicken stock
1 Large shallot
2-4 Tbsp butter
1 Cup Arborio rice (or your risotto rice of choice)
1/2 Cup aromatic but not overly oaky white wine
1/4 Cup grated Grana Padano
1/4 Cup chopper parsley
Salt and Pepper to taste
1) Make a basic cauliflower purée: add the cauliflower florets and 2 cups chicken stock in a small sauce pan and simmer until the cauliflower is tender, about 20 minutes. Strain, reserving the stock. Combine florets and 1/4 to 1/2 cup of the stock in a blender and purée. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
2) Combine the reserved stock from the cauliflower with the remaining stock and let it simmer on a back burner.
3) Give the shallots and cauliflower stalks a course chop and lightly sauté in 2 tbsp of butter until tender but only barely browned in a pan over medium to medium-high heat. Add the rice and cook for 2 minutes.
4) Add the wine to the pan and cook until reduced, 1-2 minutes. Add stock 1/2 a cup at a time, cooking until absorbed until the rice is nearly but not quite al dente. When you get to the point where you would normally add your last 1/2 cup of stock to finish cooking, instead add 1 cup of cauliflower puree and cook until done, 1-2 more minutes. It’s critical that you don’t wait until the rice is done to add the puree in which case the rice will definitely be overdone and you’ll have pasty mush.
5) Remove from heat and stir in the cheese, parsley, and 1-2 tbsp butter if desired. Taste and season with salt and pepper to taste.