October 28, 2015

Cauliflower Rice




I'm as surprised as anyone that cauliflower would get its own headline. If you want to talk about unassuming and overlooked - cauliflower would come to mind. And yet, over the past year, I've come to find the most inventive, unexpected and -most importantly - delicious uses for this humble vegetable. Everything from cauliflower pizza crusts to an addictive vegan alfredo sauce.  

I must confess that I have a serious carb problem. Bread, pasta - and yes - rice. I never met a carb I didn't like. While I would never seriously contemplate breaking off this love affair, from time to time, I do entertain viable alternatives.

Cauliflower is so versatile, I started thinking about making rice out of it. I wasn't quite shocked to see that I wasn't the first one to think of the idea. Cauliflower, it seems, can do anything. 

There are a multitude of cooking methods out there: stovetop, microwaving, sautéing, and roasting. Now, cauliflower will never taste like rice.  But out of all these methods, I found roasting to be the simplest and quickest method, with results that came closest to rice in terms of texture. It comes out fluffy, light  and filling.  When paired with my favorite curries or stir fry dishes, I can honestly say I don't miss rice at all.  

Because I usually eat rice with a very flavorful main dish, I prefer to cook the cauliflower plain - not even with salt. However, if you want a bolder side dish, sprinkle some salt and pepper, add some minced onions and garlic, or minced herbs like mint or cilantro. 



CAULIFLOWER RICE

Makes 4 cups

1 head of cauliflower
Olive oil

1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. Chop off the leaves from the head of cauliflower and break off into small florets.
3. Place florets in a food processor and pulse until the florets have been broken up into rice or couscous-like texture.
4. Pour some olive oil onto a baking sheet and with a paper towel, make sure the entire surface is oiled.
5. Place the cauliflower rice onto the baking sheet for the thinnest layer possible.
6. Place the baking sheet on the middle rack and bake for 10-15 minutes. You want to draw out as much moisture from the cauliflower as possible. The result should be light, fluffy and steamy "rice kernels."

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