The rich flavors of bacon and mushrooms dominate this dish, turning riced cauliflower into a super-flavorful side. Cauliflower risotto is fantastic served with a main course of roasted chicken, salmon, or thick, juicy pork chops.
The recipe below is great without any additional ingredients, but if you’re really craving comfort food then fatten the risotto up a bit. Generous amounts of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese or butter (or both) will do the trick. A garnish of fresh herbs like basil, parsley and chives add color and flavor.
Like traditional risotto, this dish shouldn’t be overcooked. Stop when the cauliflower is al dente. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a bowl of mush. Still flavorful, mind you, but lacking the crisp-tender texture that makes cauliflower risotto really good.
Time in the Kitchen: 35 minutes
2 heads of cauliflower, cut into small chunks (bottom stem and leaves trimmed off)
In small batches, put the cauliflower chunks into a food processor. Process until the cauliflower has the consistency of rice. Set aside.
Cook the bacon in a wide pot or skillet over medium-high heat. After a few minutes add the onion/shallot, celery and garlic. If the bacon hasn’t released enough fat, add a little bit of olive oil or butter to the pot.
Sauté for 3 minutes then add the mushrooms. Sauté for 5 minutes more. Again, if the pot seems dry, add more olive oil or butter. Season the mushrooms lightly with salt and pepper.
Add 8 cups of cauliflower rice. If you have slightly less than 8 cups, don’t worry about it. If you have more, reserve the extra for another meal.
Add the chicken stock. Put a lid on the pot and cook the cauliflower for 5 to 7 minutes until tender but not completely mushy.
Before serving, flavor the risotto with generous amounts of one or more of the following: grated cheese, butter, fresh herbs.