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52 New Recipes in 2010 – 17, Cauliflower and Mushroom Risotto

October 10, 2010

There are very few foods I categorically don’t like. There are things I’m not that fond of and things I wouldn’t choose in a restaurant, and I have a weird thing about fish I’m working to get over, but the list of absolute ‘no’s is quite short: celery, turnips and liver.

My previous local veg box used to allow you to opt out of two items – you could have preferences, but not be unreasonably fussy. Even fresh, local, organic produce did not change my mind on celery and turnips (as it had for cucumbers and raw carrots) so I opted out of those. Riverford had two boxes the same size and price you could switch between depending on which looked better. But Growing Communities, in a manner I find rather admirable, essentially says, ‘Look, once the global agri-food system collapses, you might have to eat turnips. Better just get used to it now.’

Fortunately, they haven’t given me turnips yet (that might be the end of the honeymoon), but cauliflower occupies a kind of grey area. It isn’t quite objectionable enough for me to say I don’t like it, but…. I don’t really like it. There are a limited number of ways I will eat it: deep fried* with sweet chilli dipping sauce, chopped up very small with broccoli and made into enchiladas, or sautéd with a lemon and tahini dressing. That’s really about it.

However, we got one in the veg box, and I have resolved to take lunch this week instead of buying it, as I am so skint it’s unbelievable, and since it was 9.00 pm on a Friday night and I didn’t have the right stuff for any of the above, I had to get creative.

After rifling through the bottom of the fridge for things I could mix with cauliflower to make it more interesting, I did some brief google searches for ‘kale and cauliflower recipes’ and ‘mushroom and cauliflower recipes’. This cauliflower and kale bake looked perhaps the most interesting, but I didn’t have any of the stuff for that either. (There will be plenty of weeks between now and asparagus season when I’ll get kale and cauliflower at the same time, methinks.) So I ended up with two recipes for cauliflower and mushroom risotto, here and here. The latter suggested coconut cream, which frankly could make anything delicious – again, did not have, but will remember for future occasions. Also, it had a method for making risotto that’s a bit different from my own, so I mostly used the first. However, they both suggested adding greens at the end, such as spinach, watercress or rocket. I decided kale would suffice. I also added some lemon juice, which I think cuts through the creaminess of the cauliflower and rice.

Given that it contains a significant amount of cauliflower, it really isn’t that bad. In fact, it’s verging on tasty (though I still can’t help feeling I’d have preferred a straight kale and mushroom risotto).  Also, my housemate came in tipsy, craving rice-based food, and I was able to oblige. And I have lunch for half the week. All in all, not a bad outcome.


* I mean, you shouldn’t have to deep fry something to make it palatable. It should just taste good.

One Comment leave one →
  1. October 10, 2010 11:59 pm

    Thanks for the mention 🙂
    Best way to use cauliflower though is roasted (after being liberally brushed with oil or butter) until golden flecks appear, then simply dusted with some salt and pepper. It is especially good with ground cumin and/or finely chopped garlic though!

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