Quickie Cauliflower Risotto with Hemp Seed Pesto

Cauliflower is crazily versatile, and this recipe goes a long way prove it in just minutes! So, here’s the idea. You make some cauliflower rice, which if you didn’t know is just shredded cauliflower, and it’s actually pretty damned satisfying. Then you use that cauliflower rice like you would tradition risotto rice (arborio rice). Add in wine, asparagus and a little cheese and you’ve just made a killer fake-out risotto.

Quickie Cauliflower Risotto with Hemp Seed Pesto
  1. 1/4 cup olive oil
  2. 1/2 small onion, finely chopped
  3. 1 large or 2 small heads cauliflower, finely grated*
  4. 2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
  5. 1/3 cup white wine
  6. 1 small bunch asparagus, cut into 1-2 inch sticks
  7. 1/2 cup veggie or chicken broth + more if needed
  8. zest of 1 lemon
  9. 1/2 cup full-fat canned coconut milk (or cream)
  10. 1/2-3/4 cup parmesan cheese (use nutritional yeast for vegan eaters)
  11. 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  12. For the Pesto: (if you want to make it homemade)
  13. 1 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  14. 3/4 cup fresh basil, finely chopped
  15. 1/2 cup raw hemp seeds
  16. 1/3 cup olive oil + more for drizzling (or use truffle oil for drizzling!)
  17. 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  18. 1 clove garlic, minced or grated (optional)
  19. 1/3 cup parmesan cheese (or nutritional yeast) (optional)
  20. crushed red pepper, to taste
  21. salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Heat a large, high sided skillet over medium heat and add 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the onion, season with salt and pepper, and cook until caramelized, about 8 minutes. Then add the cauliflower and the garlic, and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 2 more minutes. Deglaze the pan with white wine and cook, stirring constantly, until the liquid is almost evaporated. Stir in the asparagus. Slowly pour in the veggie broth and coconut milk and bring to a simmer. Cook until the cauliflower and asparagus are tender and "risotto" is nice and creamy, about 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat, then add the lemon zest, parmesan, parsley and a drizzle of olive oil (or truffle oil!! MMM!).Divide the risotto among bowls or plates. Top with pesto and a drizzle of truffle oil if desired.
For the pesto
  1. In a bowl, combine the cilantro, basil, hemp seeds, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic (if using), parmesan cheese (if using), crushed red pepper and a pinch of both salt and pepper. Taste and adjust the seasonings as needed. Add water to thin the pesto if desired.
Adapted from Half Baked Harvest
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