I've come a long way since the first risotto I ever made. I used to be so intimidated by risotto, but I've made it enough times now to know that once you know the method, there is really nothing to it. And the results taste so delicious; I've never met a risotto I didn't like, and I consider it my ultimate comfort food.
This is a recipe I came up with all on my own in an effort to get Andrew to eat more cauliflower. He's an excellent vegetable eater, but he just doesn't like cauliflower, so for some ridiculous reason I've made it my ultimate goal in life to get him to eat, and enjoy, cauliflower. He loves rice, so I thought if I hid the cauliflower in there he'd never know it (that's worked in the past with macaroni and cheese), but my plan was a huge failure. He immediately saw the cauliflower and refused to eat this. But I really didn't mind all that much, because it just left more for Joe and me.
I'm really proud of myself for this recipe. It's really delicious, and Joe and I both absolutely loved it. Now that I know I can create an entire risotto recipe from scratch on my own, I can't wait to try other variations! Next time I may try a vegetable Andrew actually likes; asparagus, broccoli, or even carrots would be delicious using this method.
6 cups vegetable stock (you can use chicken stock)
2 bay leaves
1 bag frozen cauliflower
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves minced garlic
2 sprigs fresh thyme
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon butter
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
1. Heat vegetable stock, bay leaves, and cauliflower in a high-sided saucepan over medium heat until warm. Keep warm but do not boil.
2. Meanwhile, add olive oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and thyme and cook until onion is softened, then add garlic; cook and stir for 30 seconds. Season with salt and pepper. Add butter to skillet, then add rice. Cook rice until it begins to brown and smell nutty. Add white wine and cook until wine is mostly evaporated.
3. Add warm stock to the rice mixture one cup at a time (avoid adding the bay leaves and cauliflower); cook and stir until stock is absorbed. Keep adding stock and stirring until the rice is fully cooked and mixture is creamy (the whole process will take anywhere from 18-22 minutes).
4. Discard bay leaves. Add cauliflower and parmesan cheese to the rice mixture; adjust seasonings as needed. Top with additional parmesan cheese, if desired.