Monday, January 7, 2013

Recipe: Cauliflower rice

Happy Monday morning!

Remember last night I had some lovely lamb shank osso bucco in the slow cooker? Well, this morning it was ready!

It simmered overnight in a mix of beef stock, chicken stock, herbs, spices, and veggies. This morning is was incredibly tender and nourishing! I skimmed off some of the fat, re-seasoned the sauce, and served it with cauliflower "rice" and squash and a garnish of chopped parsley.

As you recall, the cooking liquid was seasoned with carrots, tomato, cumin, cinnamon, allspice, oregano, two kinds of paprika, Aleppo peppers, and bay leaf. We're cutting back on onions and garlic these days to let our tummies rest, but you would do well to add some if you tolerate them! Easy peasy. Next time, I would add even more herbs and cumin, and dial back the cinnamon just a little. It added an interesting depth of flavor, but I think I went a tiny bit overboard. Other than that, so delicious!

Now, what is this crazy cauliflower "rice" side dish?

Well, it is so incredibly easy that you should make some today! It can be vegetarian, vegan, or not. It is low in carbs, if you are the sort of person who counts those. It's rich in fiber and anti-inflammatory micronutrients. It has just enough fat to promote good digestion. It is completely customizable, so it goes with almost everything. Yum!


Half a head of cauliflower (or a whole head if your family is larger than mine)
A spoonful of ghee, oil, or schmaltz (rendered chicken fat)
Leftover roasted butternut squash or other veggies, optional but delicious
Salt and pepper to taste
Fresh herbs to garnish - today I used parsley


First, heat up your pot. You want something with a lid that will comfortably hold all your cauliflower, with some space above it. I used a 5 qt enameled cast iron pot that I got at a Le Creuset factory outlet years ago.

Wash your cauliflower. I like to break it into large chunks, suberge in water in the salad spinner bowl, and lift out to the strainer part. Most veggies and herbs get their cleanest in the submerge-and-lift method. Some need three or four changes of water, and others need one or two. Cauliflower is usually pretty clean. Parsley can be pretty sandy. Get your herbs clean and dry too!

Next, cut cauliflower into pieces just small enough to fit in the feed tube of your food processor. Fit the grater blade in your food processor, and grate your cauliflower. It will look kinda sorta like Basmati rice, hence the name. If you don't have a grater blade, you can pulse with the S blade until it looks to be about the size of rice, or grate on a box grater, or just chop it with a knife. Don't let lack of technology stand in your way!

Heat your cooking fat in your pan. Swirl around to coat the bottom, then add all your cauliflower. Add a pinch of salt and stir it around to coat. Put the lid on, turn down the heat, and steam gently for a few minutes. You can add a splash of veg broth or chicken stock if you like, but the cauliflower has lots of moisture in it already so you don't really need it unless you want to add a certain flavor.

Take off the lid, add in your leftover squash or whatever veggies you like. Mash the squash a little to break it up, and stir it all up. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve, garnished with chopped fresh herbs.

Variations are endless - yesterday I made some with coconut. (I didn't have coconut milk, so I used a spoonful of Coconut Manna and a splash of water.) Another day, I will grate in some beets and garnish with dill. How will you make yours? What's your favorite cauliflower dish? Please leave a comment to let me know!

Chef Mary

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