“Cauliflower is nothing but cabbage with a college education.” Mark Twain
With temperatures flirting with single digits, it seemed like a good time to make a creamy comforting risotto. We had enjoyed a cauliflower risotto on a recent trip to Washington and I tried recreating it here. I roasted a whole head of cauliflower but puréed half of it in broth to add body and loads of nutrition to the risotto. The leek and sausage added bold flavor. You could substitute pancetta or bacon for the sausage or omit it altogether for a vegetarian option. The final dish was creamy and delicious with the flavor of the cauliflower shining through.
ROASTED CAULIFLOWER AND LEEK RISOTTO
1 cauliflower, trimmed and cut in 1/2 inch florets
1 T olive oil
4-5 c chicken broth
1 leek, diced
1 T butter
1 3 oz link of smoked chicken or turkey sausage, diced
1 1\2 c Arborio rice
1\2 c grated parmesan cheese
1/2 chopped flat leaf parsley
1- Preheat oven to 425 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or foil and toss the cauliflower in 1 T oil. Roast on lower rack for 20 minutes, stirring once. Reserve half as a topping. Place half in a blender or food processor and purée with about 1 c of the broth until smooth.
2- Melt butter in a large skillet and cook the leeks and sausage until the leek is transparent. Add the rice and sauté 1 minute. Add 1/2 c of broth and stir until absorbed. Continue adding broth In 1/2 c increments, stirring constantly until rice is cooked. Add the puréed cauliflower and parmesan and cook through, another minute or two. Stir in the parsley.
3- Serve in bowls and top with reserved cauliflower florets.
Hearty and satisfying, a wonderful winter risotto.