Well, it’s 2013 now. If you’re anything like me and have gained a couple (or more than a couple) pounds from excessive consumption of last month’s festive food and drink, it’s time to dial it back. I always love making risotto because it is, essentially, a blank slate. You start with some rice and hot broth and add whatever flavours you fancy. I kept things healthy with this version, using some hearty vegetables which make for a surprisingly filling vegan dish.
What you’ll need…
2 cups cauliflower florets (loosely chopped)
1 red potato (1/2″ cubed)
5 cups chicken broth
2 TBSP tomato paste
2 TSP chili powder
2 cloves garlic (minced)
1 yellow onion (thinly sliced)
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
3 white mushrooms (finely chopped)
1 jalapeño (seeds removed, finely chopped)
2 cups kale (loosely chopped)
salt and pepper
1. Alright, start by preheating your oven to 425 degrees. Place the cauliflower florets and chopped potato into a medium-sized baking dish. Drizzle with some olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and pop into the oven to let roast for 25 minutes.
2. While that’s roasting away, combine the broth, tomato paste and chili powder in a small pot and stir until the tomato paste dissolves. Let the mixture come to just under a simmer on medium-high heat. Turn to low heat and keep hot on the stove.
3. Next, cook down the garlic and onion with some olive oil in a large pan until softened, about 5 minutes. Add another couple teaspoons or so of oil to the pan, followed by the rice. Give the pan a good stir until the rice is evenly cooked and let cook for another 2-3 minutes.
4. Using a ladle, pour in 1 1/2 cups of the hot liquid, stir and let cook until most of the liquid is absorbed. Now, add the mushrooms, jalapeño and chopped kale to the pan as well as another cup of the broth. Continue ladling and stirring until the rice and absorbed all of the broth and has a nice, el dente texture. Turn to low heat to keep warm.
5. Finally, remove the roasted cauliflower and potato from the oven and stir into the risotto. Give it one last taste, season with salt and pepper if needed and dish out for dinner! Stay warm!
Total cook time…30 min
Dan Clapson is a food writer and culinary instructor based out of Calgary. He is constantly creating new recipes and striving to expand his culinary horizons. He thinks yam fries are overrated.
by Dan Clapson