Getting your cruciferous vegetables in has never been easier or more delicious.
This is a delicious, healthy, and unusual way to prepare cauliflower. The cooking technique borrows from risotto, but the dish resembles couscous in appearance. The cauliflower is chopped into small pieces and slow-stirred with additions of hot stock, a technique that ensures a creamy texture but still maintains a bit of chew.
Just about any diced vegetable or fresh herb can be added to the recipe so use your imagination and clean out your refrigerator. The cauliflower "couscous" can be served as either a vegetable or as a low carb substitute for rice or potatoes.
Serves 4 to 6
1 head of cauliflower (1 1/4 pounds), cut into 3/4 inch florets (about 4 cups)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup finely sliced leeks (white and light green parts), rinsed well
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 cups Chicken or Vegetable Stock, heated
1 large carrot, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 small zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch dice (about 2 cups)
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese
2 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Place half of the cauliflower florets in a food processor and pulse until they are chopped into small “grains.” (Do not overprocess, or the vegetable will turn to mush. You want the cauliflower “grains” to resemble rice. Alternatively, you can finely chop the cauliflower by hand.) Transfer the cauliflower to a bowl and repeat with the remaining florets.
2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the leeks and cook, stirring frequently, until they soften, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute.
3. Add the cauliflower and cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture is warm to the touch, about 2 minutes. Add 1 cup of the chicken stock and cook, stirring frequently, until the chicken stock is absorbed, about 10 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, bring a small pan of water, covered, to a boil over high heat. Add the diced carrot and cook for 3 minutes. Drain, and set the carrot aside.
5. Add the remaining 1 cup stock, the zucchini, and the blanched carrots to the cauliflower, cover the skillet, and cook until the vegetables are crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Remove the cover and cook until almost all of the stock has been absorbed, 3 to 5 minutes.
6. Stir in the Parmesan and parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve hot.
Excerpted from The Earthbound Cook: 250 Recipes for Delicious Food and a Healthy Planet by Myra Goodman. Photography by Miki Duisterhof and Patrick Tregenza. Workman Publishing ©2010.