Ah Risotto...a classic, versatile and personal favorite comfort food. Arborio rice loves to sip on savory broth. With each sip and stir it gently releases its delightfully creamy starches.
Risotto is so versatile, indeed! There are so many combinations of seasonal ingredients to build on the simple flavor of the Arborio rice to create a tasty and filling meal.
Some favorite risotto combinations:
Parsley, asparagus & shrimp
Sausage, basil, kale & red sauce
Mushrooms, peas, tarragon & sweet potato.
In these times of faux foods and many substitutions, I hesitate to even call this risotto, but I am going to go for it. Because I am one of those people who eat tacos in a lettuce leaf (corn makes me feel terrible) and often sprinkles Diaya on my enchiladas (also in almond flour wraps).
This recipe was developed for a client who does not eat any grains. It is 100% cauliflower based. When I make it for myself I start with a 1/2 cup of rice and add the cauliflower in once the rice is almost done, mainly for all of it's health benefits.
Cauliflower is loaded with Vitamin C & K, it is a great source of fiber, phytonutrients (where the sulfur is), antioxidants (tames free radicals), and omega-3s, just to name a few. Cauliflower's nutrients are best preserved with minimal cooking and ideally with liquid for a healthy saute/steam. That is why in this recipe I used broth/water instead of a fat.
Spring Cauliflower Risotto Makes ~4 servings
1/2 cup broth/water (divided)
1 head of cauliflower, roughly chopped, then pulsed through a food processor
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, pressed or minced
1 bunch of asparagus, chopped into choice sized
4-5 leaves of fresh mint, finely chopped
~3" piece of burdock root, scrubbed, peeled and cut into matchsticks or use a peeler and ribbon it
1/2 pound of chicken sausage
In a medium skillet, on medium heat, add 1/4 C broth/water cook onions & garlic, stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes. Chop and process the cauliflower. Cauliflower should only be in the processor for about 10-15 seconds. Over processing can release its sulfur, which smells and tastes pretty terrible.
Once the onions and garlic are tender, add the cauliflower, then add some salt and pepper, stir to combine, add another splash of water or broth and cover and cook for 10 minutes. Stirring 2-3 times.
Work on prepping the rest of the ingredients. Once cauliflower is cooked, transfer it to a bowl, wipe the skillet, add oil/fat/broth and cook the rest of the ingredients, starting with the chicken if using. Otherwise, if you are going to use burdock, get that going first, cook for about 5 minutes, then add asparagus. Total cook time with the chicken is about 15 minutes, without is about 10.
Combine everything, toss with the mint, add more salt, pepper and mint to taste.