I’ve never been much of a fan of risotto. I find it heavy and cloying and usually doused in a block of butter and/or cheese. In fact, mushroom risotto is one of my all time pet hates! I have seen it time and time again as the ONLY vegetarian option on a menu, I’ve had it at the local pub, in fine dining establishments, even as the veggie choice for Christmas dinner… COME ON CHEFS be a little more adventurous, please!
So, why on Earth am I featuring a recipe which makes my blood boil when I see it in a restaurant on my own site? Well, this recipe has had a little upgrade. Instead of sticky, starchy risotto rice I’m using pulsed cauliflower instead! I’ve written about the wonders of cauliflower rice before – my personal opinion is that it tastes much better than the grain AND you get the added bonus of eating one of your 5/7 a day. It is also low in calories, so you can indulge in the finer things in life [almost] guilt free. The added mushrooms offer a lovely earthy flavour while the hazelnuts add a good bit of texture. You can substitute any nut from walnuts to chestnuts of you don’t like or have hazelnuts. Try it with some homemade vegan parmesan for a little extra savoury flavour.
Mushroom Kale and Nut Risotto
- ½ Medium Cauliflower
- 4 Chestnut mushrooms
- Handful Kale
- Handful Hazelnuts/ Alternative
- 3-4 sprigs Fresh Thyme
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil/ Butter
- 2 Garlic Cloves
- 1 Onion
- 75ml Vegetable stock
- Half a Lemon
- Sea salt & Black Pepper, to taste
- Heat the oil/ butter in a frying pan over a medium heat. Finely chop the onion and add to the pan, stirring occasionally until the onion turns translucent – about 5 minutes.
- Slice the mushrooms and add to the pan. Cook for a further 4-5 minutes until the mushrooms are nicely browned.
- Meanwhile, add the cauliflower to a blender or food processer and pulse until it resembles rice grains. If you don’t have a blender, grate the cauliflower.
- Remove the thyme leaves from the stalk and add to the frying pan, along with the garlic. Cook for a further minute.
- Add the kale, cauliflower and stock to the pan and cook for 5 or so minutes, until most of the stock has evaporated, the kale is soft and the cauliflower is hot.
- Toast the hazelnuts in a seperate dry frying pan and add to the cauliflower risotto.
- Squeeze the juice of the lemon into the pan, season to taste,adding plenty of black pepper.
- Serve with a topping of vegan parmesan cheese.