I didn’t make this with the intention of creating an alternative to risotto, it just happened that I accidentally did so in the process of simply trying to make dinner.
This meal is incredibly filling. I paired it with a caprese salad and that was more than enough for dinner. It looks like it won’t be, but the high fiber cauliflower makes you much more full than equal amounts of rice would.
PS that caprese salad was for three people.. As is this recipe.
Cauliflower asparagus “risotto”
1 head of cauliflower
8-10 stalks of skinny asparagus
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Juice from 1/2 of a lemon
4 tablespoons olive oil (half used for cooking, half used for the sauce)
1/4 cup grated cheese: A harder cheese of your preference, one that melts well (I like using stinkier cheeses but you can use a mild one if you prefer. Real parmigiano reggiano would work or anything else you have lying around)
Salt and pepper
1. Heat a large pan to medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil.
2. Chop the shallot and add it to the pan. Cook for 2 minutes.
3. While the shallots cook, cut the bottom two inches off of the asparagus. Toss the ends. Chop the rest of the asparagus into 1 inch pieces. Add to the shallots and sprinkle with salt. Cook and stir while prepping the cauliflower.
4. Cut the leafy part off of the cauliflower. Grate the entire head using a cheese grater. Add this to the asparagus mixture.
5. Sprinkle about half a teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper into the mixture. Drizzle another tablespoon of olive oil into the cauliflower. Stir the mixture around every 1-2 minutes. Cook for 8 minutes.
6. Using a dry pan, toast the pumpkin seeds: Heat the pan to medium high and add the seeds. Shake the pan every 20 seconds or so. Only let the seeds toast for 1-2 minutes. They very quickly burn so make sure you don’t leave this pan until the seeds are done and you take them off of heat.
7. Grate the cheese and stir into the cauliflower. Turn the heat off below the cauliflower.
8. Combine the remaining two tablespoons of olive oil with the Dijon mustard and lemon juice. Mix well and stir into the cauliflower. Stir in the toasted pumpkin seeds.
9. Salt and pepper the finished product to taste.
10. Pair a super light salad with this or a very small piece of meat. I really mean it when I say that this is surprisingly filling!