First of all, this isn’t really a risotto, and purists out there (and anyone of Italian descent) may be a little offended that I even use the word when there’s no arborio rice involved. (And yes, I know it looks like scrambled eggs, but I promise you it’s cauliflower.)
Second of all, since I’m being all honest here with you all, it doesn’t have the consistency of a risotto. It sits squarely somewhere between a pilaf and risotto, since cauliflower isn’t a grain.
Clearly this is a work in progress, and I plan to try this again and again (with many apologies to the purists) until I get something more risotto-like. But it’s so good, I wanted to share it with you anyway. As a note, this dish doesn’t scream curry, but rather serves up a hint of that wonderful spice, so if you want a stronger curry flavor, just add a bit more. But be careful, and only add a little at a time as the flavor can build quickly.
- ½ head cauliflower
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons minced shallot
- 1 cup finely chopped leeks (white and green parts only)
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped sage (or ½ teaspoon dried)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons white wine
- 1 cup broth
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Cilantro for garnish
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- ⅔ cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons black peppercorns
- ½ Fuji apple, thinly sliced
- 10 very thin slices of Serrano pepper
- Remove any leaves from the bottom of the head of cauliflower, and chop the head into large chunks. Using a food processor fitted with a blade, pulse the chunks until they are the size of grains of rice. You'll need to do this in shifts.
- Heat up the oil in a large sauté pan and add the shallot and leeks. Cook until very tender, about 15 minutes. Add the sage and salt, and cook for another couple of minutes until the leeks are fragrant. Add the wine, and cook until it's been completely absorbed.
- Add the cauliflower and broth all at once, cover the pan, and simmer until the cauliflower is tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in the cream, curry, and cheese.
- Serve warm with Pickled Apples and Serrano Peppers (recipe below), and garnish with a little cilantro.
- Whisk together all of the pickling juice ingredients (lemon juice, salt, sugar, vinegar, and peppercorns) and divide into two bowls with ⅔ of the liquid in one of the bowls. Place the apples in the bowl with more liquid, and the Serrano pepper in the other. Macerate for one hour.
- Coarsely chop the apples, and mince the Serrano pepper.
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