Thursday, March 15, 2012

Roasted Cauliflower Risotto

I am super excited to be involved in another cooking challenge (I love a good challenge!) called Eating the Alphabet.  It's hosted by Brenda at Meal Planning Magic. Each month we're supposed to prepare a dish using fruits or vegetables from the selected letters.  Unfortunately, I found her wonderful blog and challenge after the first month had already started.  So, I missed letters A/B.  This month the challenge was to prepare a dish with a fruit or vegetable beginning with the letters C & or D.  Due to the short amount of time I had to find and prepare a recipe I went with only one letter, the letter C and I used cauliflower.  Although I like cauliflower I have to admit I have rarely, if ever cooked with it, so I thought it would be a good vegetable to use.  I'm really trying to challenge myself with this challenge and try using fruits and vegetables that I dont' normally cook with. 

I have made risotto a number of times.  I've cooked the traditional risotto which requires you to pour in broth a little at a time, constantly stirring.  A little while back I tried using the slow cooker to make risotto.  This recipe that I found uses the Dutch Oven.  After adding the liquid to the rice you cook it in the oven.  If you want the "bite" from the rice, cooking the traditional way is definitely the way to go.  However, if you want something with little hands-on time, cooking in the Dutch Oven or slow cooker is an easy way to make risotto. 

As for this dish, I liked the taste of the roasted cauliflower (heck, I like any vegetable roasted!).  The almonds gave the dish a nice crunch and added a little color.  I think the best part was that my son ate all of his dinner!  He does love rice, but he even ate all of his cauliflower!  That spells winner right there!  The dish wasn't amazing, I definitely have to make it again.  But because it was pretty quick and easy and everyone ate it, I have to give it 1 1/2 thumbs up!

Roasted Cauliflower Risotto
Food Network Magazine, March 2011

Total time: 40 minutes
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes

Yield:  4 servings


1 head cauliflower, florets cut into 1/2-inch pieces, stems chopped
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups short-grain Italian rice (such as arborio or vialone nano)
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 ounces Italian fontina cheese, grated (1 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh parsley

Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 475 degrees F. Toss the cauliflower florets with 1 tablespoon olive oil on a baking sheet. Spread in a single layer and season with salt and pepper. Roast on the upper oven rack, 5 minutes. Add the almonds and roast until the cauliflower is tender, about 15 more minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a Dutch oven over high heat. Add the onion and cauliflower stems and cook, stirring, until the onion is translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the rice and garlic and cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Add the wine and cook, stirring, until evaporated, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the broth, 2 cups water and 1 teaspoon salt; cover and bring to a boil. Transfer the pot to the lower oven rack and bake until the rice is tender, about 15 minutes.

Remove the rice from the oven and add the butter, fontina and parsley, stirring vigorously until the risotto is creamy, 1 to 2 minutes. Divide among bowls and top with the roasted cauliflower and almonds.

Family Rating: 1 1/2 thumbs up!


  1. I'm always looking for new ways to cook kid-friendly vegetables; this looks like a must-try! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Your cauliflower dish looks great. I love the "Eating the Alphabet" idea and just put my name in yesterday to join! Sounds like fun.

  3. I love both cauliflower and risotto so can't wait to try this. Love that it bakes in the oven too! Not standing over a hot stove for the risotto. Yum!