A gluten-free spin on the traditional Risotto, with cauliflower! Traditionally, Risotto /rɨˈzɒtoʊ, rɨˈzoʊtoʊ/ is a north Italian rice dish cooked in a broth / stock to a creamy consistency. The broth / stock can be derived from meat, fish, or vegetable. Many types of risotto contain butter, wine and onion.
I watch too many episodes of the BBC’s Come Dine with Me, according to my family! I recently viewed a contestant making the risotto with Arborio rice, butter, dairy cream, and wine and it looked a simple recipe to adapt for a gluten free lifestyle. It indeed was, and, there wasn’t any taste of cauliflower. The dish turned out to be a creamy delight, with a hint of fresh lemon, in low carb riced cauliflower, cooked in ghee and onions for the buttery taste flavour. While the cauliflower risotto is typically a vegan dish, I served these with Ostrich meat for my protein fill, feather-like massaged in a lemony masala marinade of olive oil, fresh garlic and ginger, masala, salt and fresh lemon juice, for 15 minutes, then skewered and oven grilled with coconut oil – a tres magnifique meal indeed!
The recipe below, serves 4, and provides filling nourishment in a gluten free and low carbohydrate meal. Yesterday, during my weekly meal preparation sessions that began at 6am!, I riced, in my food processor, 3 heads of cauliflower intent on freezing them for the weekly meals – that it was so fresh and the consistency so closely resembled rice grains, I felt loath not to cook the cauli rice while it was so fresh. I’m so glad I got to use it up without freezing!
1 large head cauliflower
2 tblsp coconut oil or ghee
½ onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
200g mushrooms, sliced thinly, stems removed
1 cup coconut milk (preservatives free, sugar free)
1 cup vegetable stock (preservatives free) OR chicken stock (if non-vegan)
1 tblsp dried parsley or 3 tblsp fresh parsley, chopped
1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
Juice from ½ a lemon
Himalayan or Sea salt to taste
½ – 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- If using a food processor cut the cauliflower into florets and add to the food processor with the grater attachment plate to process the cauliflower to “rice”stage. If you don’t have a food processor,don’t cut the cauliflower into florets. Instead grate the cauliflower using a cheese grater. Once the rice is made, set aside.
- In a large non stick pan, add the choice of oil, and heat over medium-high stove top heat. Add the onion and garlic and saute until the onions are soft and translucent, for about 3 – 4 minutes.
- Add the mushrooms and lemon juice and continue cooking for another 5 minutes, until all of the liquid has evaporated.
- Now add in the coconut milk, vegetable stock, salt, pepper, and thyme and bring to a simmer.
- Stir in the cauliflower rice, reduce the heat to medium and cover the pan.
- Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the cauliflower is tender but not soft (al dente like traditional risotto)
- Add the parsley and mix well.
- Remove from heat and serve as desired, on it’s own with a salad, or as a side dish with protein of choice.