I’ll add a pic of the finished dish a bit later but after I posted this teaser on Instagram so many of you have been asking for the recipe that I wanted to get it up here for you all.
I love food that I can make ahead and then just assemble and heat up on a busy day. This dish incorporates several of my make ahead items for a bowl dinner that is a raving fave around here.
The base of this bowl is the brown rice and therein lies the secret. Half of the rice is actually “riced” cauliflower. I always have raw riced cauliflower in the freezer. Basically I throw raw cauliflower florets in the food processor and pulse until it’s the texture of rice. I don’t want it to be mushy. I want each “grain” to be able to stand up on its own. I pack the riced cauliflower into large silicone ice cube trays which hold about 1/3 cup in each well. When it’s fully frozen I remove the cauliflower from the trays and pack them into zip-lock freezer bags. I’m looking for silicone bags I can use in place of the plastic bags but for now this works. It’s so easy to pop out a cube or two or three when I need it for a recipe or just to add to a cup of soup. It’s perfect to add to any rice dish to get more veggies in. Trust me, you’ll never notice that 1/2 the dish is cauliflower instead of rice.
Another thing I always have in the freezer is a cooked veggie mix. For this dish I chose a kale, onion and toasted pecan mix I’d made up last week. All I did was toast chopped pecans in a pan over medium heat. When slightly browned I dumped them into a bowl, added extra-virgin olive oil to the pan along with some onions and when the onions were lightly browned added chopped kale, salt and pepper, and some more EVOO. When the kale was slightly browned in spots I removed the pan from the heat and stirred in the pecans. I like to use this mix over pasta with pesto or just some EVOO, over brown rice, eat as is, add Parmesan or other hard cheese for a change up.
Every now and then I pour myself a glass of dry white wine over ice and then walk away and never drink it. I pour this water and wine into a bottle and save it in the fridge. It’s perfect for making sauces and risotto.
So these are the basic ingredients I used to make this rice bowl.
1 cup brown rice
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup dry white wine (or broth)
4 cups chicken or beef or bone broth, vegetable broth, or water
1/2 teaspoon each sea salt and black or white pepper (only if using water as your cooking liquid)
2 cups raw riced cauliflower
2 tablespoons butter (optional)
1/2 cup grated or shredded Parmesan (optional)
Heat oil until hot over medium heat, then add rice. Stir occasionally for five minutes. Add wine. Allow to cook until liquid is almost completely absorbed, stirring occasionally. While rice is cooking heat broth in microwave or in another pan on the stove. No need to bring it to a boil, but it should be hot. When wine is absorbed add 1/2 cup broth. When the broth is almost absorbed add another 1/2 cup broth. Continue adding broth 1/2 cup at a time and cooking it down.
When you still have 1 cup of broth left add the cauliflower and the butter to the rice. It can still be frozen if you didn’t have time to defrost it. Continue adding broth and allowing it to cook down until the rice is tender. Stir in Parmesan if using. The resulting dish should be creamy but not soupy. You may not end up using all 4 cups of broth.
Pour risotto onto one large platter or individual bowls. Top with hot Toasted Pecan Kale mix. You can stop at this point but I drizzled a sauce made from sour cream thinned with white wine onto my bowl. My favorite way to top this though is with a balsamic glaze (reduced balsamic vinegar).
Another Little Secret
I always soak my grains before cooking them. After my morning coffee I put 1 cup of uncooked brown rice in a glass bowl with two tablespoons of an acid such as yogurt, yogurt whey, lemon or lime juice, or apple cider vinegar. After pouring in enough water to cover the rice about one inch I set it aside for at least seven hours and as long as twenty-four hours. Drain, rinse and you’re ready to cook it although you’ll need half as much cooking liquid as you would need if cooking without soaking.