Saturday, April 19, 2008

Cauliflower-based Risotto with Mushroom and Broccoli

At the markets, I saw a gigantic head of cauliflower on sale and promptly purchased it. I'm a sucker for cauliflower and was keen on doing some experimentation, as well. This metafilter forum had a tremendous amount of awesome ideas, but this one really stuck out to me as being key. I set about making it following the loose steps in the post as well as adding from my own experience with risotto and food. It was pretty nice as a risotto but, honestly, I feel like the cauliflower taste was too subdued and almost a waste. But I regret nothing!
-Chop and separate about 1 medium cauliflower or half of a huge one
-Sprinkle oil through, mix, and then add salt, pepper, and cumin seeds
-Roast at 200C/400F for about 1 hr, mixing in the middle. 40 minutes into it, add several cloves of garlic, still in the peel-Once cauliflower is cooked, place in a pot with the garlic, some bay leaves, cover with water and bring to a boil
-After about 10 minutes, puree til even consistency. Set aside-Dice 1 large onion
-Prepare about 2 cups rice (you should use arborio but I just use medium grain)
-Chop some broccoli and some mushroom
-Grate 1/2 - 1 cup of parmesan
-Optional: have some previously toasted/roasted pumpkin seeds
-In a large pot, lightly sautée onion in olive oil or butter for 5 minutes on medium heat
-Add rice and toast for several minutes, tossing often to get full area coated and cooked
-Add in the cauliflower soup
-Bring to boil, lower to simmer and keep stirring for a while
-As the rice absorbs the water/soup, add more water (with or without stock powder)-In the meantime, in a different pan, sautée mushroom and broccoli in some olive oil and salt on medium heat, turn off flame when veggies are cooked-Taste the rice every 5 minutes or so to check doneness
-Once rice is cooked through turn off heat, mix parmesan through, then add mushroom, broccoli, pumpkin seeds, salt and pepper
-Garnish bowls with fresh basil and a tiny bit of olive oil

-As I mentioned above, this was very nice but not nearly cauliflowery enough. What I would do is maybe cook the risotto the same way, only solely with stock, and then at the end mix through with cauliflower soup instead of the parmesan (perhaps using some cream in the soup) or just mix in stir-fried cauliflower like the broccoli
-The pumpkin seeds were a whim but I was really pleased with them. They're ones that I'd salted, peppered, oiled and roasted for an hour after a batch of pumpkin soup

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