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Delicious Spring Risotto Recipe

Risotto has a reputation. We tend to think of this dish as something difficult and gourmet, only to be ordered at a restaurant. Today, let’s throw that reputation out the window, because this risotto is anything but. It is easy, mostly hands off, and very inexpensive to make at home.

Spring risotto recipe

As a bonus, this recipe is healthy with a capital H. In place of the heavy cream sauce, we are using a cauliflower cream sauce. Yes, cauliflower cream. This vegetable is quickly becoming the darling of the health food world. There is cauliflower rice, cauliflower alfredo sauce, and now cauliflower cream risotto. When cauliflower is cooked and pureed, it becomes a thick, rich, and creamy sauce. We add in big flavors with miso, nutritional yeast, and nutmeg to make it taste as creamy and rich as a traditional cream sauce.

Mix spring risotto recipe

Tips for a healthy restaurant worthy risotto:

Tip #1: Cook it real good.

Raw cauliflower can have an…. um…. grassy flavor to put it kindly. Throughly boiling the cauliflower will tame its flavor and create the perfect neutral base for our flavoring components. Make sure the cauliflower is fork tender, or more. Error on the side of overcooking.

Tip #2: Scrape the bottom.

As you are sautéing the leeks and rice, chances are you might build up some brown color on the bottom of your pan. This is called a fond, and believe it or not, it holds a ton of flavor. When you add in the white wine vinegar, use it to loosen the fond and scrape it off the bottom of the pan. This releases the flavor into the risotto.

Tip #3: Fresh is best.

The secret to a great risotto? It is as simple as fresh ingredients. Sure, you can buy frozen peas and green beans, but the results will not compare to using fresh. If you can find fresh peas and beans. Please do. And the mint has to be fresh, not dried. If you can’t find fresh mint, leave it out altogether.

Spring risotto recipe serve

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 leeks, washed, trimmed & cut into half moons
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 cups short grain brown rice
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper (black could work too)
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 quart low sodium vegetable broth, divided
  • 1 cup fresh peas (or defrosted frozen)
  • 2 cups chopped green beans
  • 1/2 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1/4 cup chopped mint

For the cauliflower cream:

  • 2 cups cauliflower florets ( about 1/2 of a head of cauliflower)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, separated
  • 2 teaspoons mellow white miso
  • 2 teaspoons nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper (black could work too)
  • Dash nutmeg

Directions:

1. In a Dutch oven, or other large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add in the leaks and sauté until softened. Add in the whole garlic cloves and sauté for another minute until the garlic softens.

Spring risotto recipe prepare

2. Add in the brown rice and stir to coat with the oil. Continue to sauté, stirring constantly, until the edges of the rice become translucent.

Spring risotto recipe brown rice

3. Add in the bay leaves, salt, white pepper and stir to combine. Add in the white wine vinegar and cook until it has evaporated. Add in 3 cups of the vegetable broth.

Spring risotto recipe bay leaes

4. Bring to a simmer and cover. Cook until the rice has absorbed all the liquid.

Spring risotto recipe rice

5. While the rice is simmering. Add the cauliflower to a saucepan and cover with water. Add in 1 teaspoon of salt and bring to a boil. Cover and cook until fork tender.

Spring risotto recipe saucepan

6. Drain and add the remaining cauliflower cream ingredients plus the remaining cup of broth to a blender. Blend until smooth. Set aside.

Spring risotto recipe blend

7. Once the rice has cooked, add in the cauliflower cream.

Spring risotto recipe cream

8. Return to the heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the rice is cooked through and is very creamy. You will likely need to add warm water at this point to achieve the perfect doneness on the rice. Add it in 1/2 cup at a time until the rice is done.

Spring risotto recipe mix

9. Remove the bay leaves and whole garlic cloves and discard. Stir in the peas, green beans, lemon zest and juice, and mint. Cook until the vegetables are warmed through. Serve.

Spring risotto recipe pot