Cauliflower rice risotto with leek and mushrooms

photo (31)

I’ve not given up carbs or any bullshit like that – I’m just trying to balance out the fact that I YOLO’d the winter away on Pret croissants and cheese. Plus, I get a vegetable box every couple of weeks (from Riverford, and I couldn’t fault their value, service and selection, since you ask) so you’ve got to get creative. You get sent whatever’s in season, and it’s all very well roasting your first few April cauliflowers, but you know, that wears thin quick.

I was previously pretty sceptical about cauliflower rice. It seemed like some joyless substitute for one of the most wonderful of foods, trying to trick you just because it looks the same, but I was actually surprised at just how ‘risotto-ey’ this ‘no grains’ version was – still creamy, still with that al-dente rice bite, but without the post-food coma the heaviness of a regular risotto induces. This also made it pretty great for lunch – or just eating double the amount of without feeling gross.

My blender has given up the ghost after a run in with some chick peas, and my NutriBullet dreams are yet to come true, so I did this one just by chopping up the cauliflower really finely, a task not nearly as tedious as you might thing, and it makes it look all ~rustic, ooh.

Before I moved out of my mother’s to go to university, I used to cook dinners for my sister who was five at the time, regularly sneaking pureed cauliflower into her mac and cheese, and I reckon you could trick a kid with this cauliflower too, as chopping it so fine really does rid it of its vegetable texture.

Throw parmesan in it if you want, cheese rarely ruins anything but I kept the ol’ calories down with a spoon of light Philadelphia, because FML, but that was still really nice.

Ingredients (serves 4)

1 head of cauliflower, blended or chopped to rice consistency.

1 leek, roughly chopped.

Half a punnet or so of mushrooms.

1 litre of warm chicken stock (or veg, but pref chicken if you’re a meat eater).

1 clove of garlic, crushed.

1 teaspoon of dried tarragon.

1 tablespoon of light soft cheese.

Salt/pepper/olive oil.

Directions

In a wide, thick-bottomed frying pan, lightly brown and soften the leek, garlic and mushrooms in a good splash of olive oil for 5-10mins on a medium heat.

Add the chopped cauliflower and tarragon and and fry for a couple of mins to coat the cauliflower in oil.

Pour over the stock and simmer on a medium heat until the stock has reduced away and the cauliflower is cooked. Stir occasionally.

Season with salt and pepper, stir in the soft cheese, and serve with greens.

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