Truffled Mushroom & Cauliflower Parmesan “Risotto”

A flavorful, carb free meal

Cauliflower is becoming more of a trendy vegetable in the food scene. We are seeing it being used as pizza crusts, steaks, mashed potatoes, buffalo wings and even rice. Cauliflower is low in fat, carbs, and high in vitamin C and fiber. Similar to sweet potatoes, I love the versatility of cauliflower, but just recently began to truly appreciate it.

Growing up in a traditional Indian household, my mom would cook with cauliflower primarily in “sabjis.” A sabji is an Indian dish which is composed of different veggies cooked in spices and curry flavors. Cauliflower and potato sabji was a staple in my household, and although I miss my mom’s Indian cooking now, I would definitely get tired of the same old cauliflower dish as a kid (shhh don’t tell my mom!).

Because of cauliflower’s recent popularity and my search for carb free recipes, I have become interested in the creative ways people have been repurposing it. After looking at various recipes, I came across cauliflower “rice.” Pretty much it’s cauliflower processed/blended into a rice-like consistency and used in replacement of rice. So I was inspired to make a cauliflower “risotto.” Here is what I came up with:

Truffled Mushroom & Cauliflower Parmesan “Risotto”

For the cauliflower rice:

  • 1 large head of cauliflower cut into florets
  • A blender or food processor

For the sauce:

  • 1 can of white cannellini beans
  • 1 cup of vegetable broth
  • 1 package of cremini mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 sweet onion, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • splash of white wine ( I used a sauvignon blanc)
  • juice of 1/2 of a lemon
  • Olive oil
  • Salt, black pepper and crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

For the garnish:

  • White truffle oil
  • freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • handful of fresh, chopped flat leaf Italian parley and basil

Preparation of the “rice”

When cutting the cauliflower florets, try not to get a lot of the stem area

Take a handful of the florets and place them in a blender/food processor. I used my Blendtec, set it on medium, and blended it until it became a fine, rice-like consistency. Place the completed rice in a bowl and set it aside.

I blended the cauliflower in batches, 1 handful at a time. This way, the consistency was even throughout.

Preparation for the sauce:

Start by blending the cannellini beans (make sure you have drained and rinsed them prior) and vegetable broth into a puree. Let that sit in the blender as you prepare your sauce. Heat some olive oil in a sauce pan and add the mushrooms and onions. Cook until the onions become translucent and then add the garlic. Season with salt, black pepper and cook until the garlic has cooked through (the worst thing that can happen is burnt garlic!). Add the lemon juice, a splash of white wine and turn the heat to high. Keep stirring the mixture until most of liquid has evaporated.

This is right after the lemon juice and white wine have evaporated on high heat

Next, add the bean puree to the mushroom mixture and cook for another few minutes until it all starts to simmer.

Then add the cauliflower rice to the mixture, season with more salt, black pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes(you can skip the pepper flakes if you don’t like heat); turn the heat down to medium. Cover the pan and cook for about 10 mins until the cauliflower cooks through; stirring occasionally. Uncover the pan, turn off the heat and add the Parmesan cheese and fresh herbs. Combine until it becomes creamy and luscious.

Serve some up in a bowl, add some more Parmesan cheese, fresh herbs, and finish it off with a drizzle of white truffle oil. As you take your first bite, you are immediately hit with the richness of the truffle oil, the freshness of the basil and parsley, the saltiness and creaminess of the cheese, and the bite of the cauliflower. Just FYI, the cauliflower doesn’t taste like risotto, but the consistency will definitely fool your mind. If we are looking for a carb free, but flavorful meal, you have to try this out. Go head and VEG OUT!

How can you resist?!?!