Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Roasted Cauliflower-Spinach Risotto

It's been a tough winter (emotionally, not meteorlogically), and I craved comfort food tonight. Nothing is more satisfying to me on a sad, cold night than a bowl of risotto. It's like savory hot cereal for dinner.

I had a cauliflower cooling its heels in the crisper, which I had planned to roast. Roasting brings out the sweetness in most vegetables, and cauliflower, which is abundant in January, will surprise you. Why not toss it into the risotto? I added a bunch of spinach for some color and green goodness, and tossed in a generous handful of cheese and some cream to balance that goodness with some evil. Delicious.

Roasted Cauliflower-Spinach Risotto

1 cauliflower, cut into florets
1 yellow onion, sliced thickly
1 bunch spinach, washed and chopped
1 shallot, minced
2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
6 cups chicken stock
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 cup cream

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss cauliflower and onion on a large cookie sheet with a little olive oil. Salt and pepper. Roast in the oven, tossing occasionally, for about 30 minutes or until the cauliflower is beginning to brown. Remove from the oven and set aside.

In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, melt the butter and saute the shallot until softened. Add the rice and saute until translucent. Add a cup of the stock, and stir over low heat until most of the stock is absorbed. Continue adding the stock a cup or so at a time. With the last addition, toss in the spinach and cook and stir until the spinach begins to wilt. Add the cauliflower and the onion. Season to taste with salt and pepper. When most of the last bit of stock has been absorbed, toss in the cheese and stir to combine. Add just enough cream to loosen the risotto to desired consistency. Serve.

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