I got the inspiration for this risotto from the show Private Chefs of Beverly Hills (I like this show, guilty!) Two chefs were assigned to make a carb-free dinner party for a Beverly Hills socialite and one of the things they came up with was a risotto made with cauliflower instead of arborio rice. Unfortunately for me they didn't really show how it was made in great detail, so I was on my own for this one.
First, I figured out that I needed to turn the cauliflower into something that resembled rice and that's when the food processor came to mind. After that I just treated the recipe like I would regular old risotto by slowly adding stock until the cauliflower became tender. I kept the flavor profile simple by showcasing the cauliflower with black pepper, Parmesan and fresh parsley.
I have to admit, this is really good. Going into it, don't expect that the cauliflower will taste exactly like rice. But it is a pretty good substitution if you are craving comfort food, but want to keep the carb count to a minimum.
Cauliflower Risotto with Parmesan and Black Pepper
1 head cauliflower, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 shallot, minced
1/2 cup vegetable stock
2 tablespoons half-and-half or cream (optional)
1 tablespoon Italian parsley, chopped
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated, plus more for shaving
sea salt, to taste
freshly ground pepper, to taste
Pulse cauliflower in a food processor until it is completely chopped to the point that it looks like a grain of rice. Heat a saute pan over medium heat. Add shallot and saute until softened. Add pulverized cauliflower and begin to stir around to coat. Add stock, a little at a time while cauliflower cooks. When cauliflower is tender, add cream or half-and-half if using. Season with salt and pepper and stir in grated parmesan cheese. Finally, sprinkle with parsley and place in a serving dish. Top with shaved parmesan (use a vegetable peeler for this) and more ground pepper.