Recipe: Three Cheese Risotto with Brown Butter Cauliflower

by Adam Altnether of Pizza Champ

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click to enlarge Adam Altnether.
SARAH LOVETT
Adam Altnether.

Risotto is just one of those dishes that immediately says comfort to me. It’s also super versatile. Use whatever vegetable you have around the house, add some acid for balance and cheese for richness, and you’ve got a meal that everyone loves. Risotto can sometimes be intimidating, but with a little patience, you can turn simple ingredients into something delicious, which is what cooking is all about for me.

Ingredients:
Cauliflower:
½ cup unsalted butter
4 cups cauliflower florets
6 cloves garlic
3 thyme sprigs
1 tsp kosher salt
1/4 cup lemon juice

Risotto:
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp kosher salt
1 stalk celery, minced
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 small white onion, minced
2 cups Arborio rice
2 cups white wine
4 cups hot water
1 tbsp Pecorino Romano, grated
3 tbsp Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated
2 tbsp mascarpone cheese

Instructions:
Cauliflower:
In a large sauté pan, begin by melting the butter over medium- high heat and then add cauliflower florets, garlic cloves, thyme sprigs and kosher salt. Allow butter to brown, turning cauliflower over as needed to give it color. When butter reaches the desired brown color, immediately pour in lemon juice and turn off heat. Be careful; it will splash and sizzle quite a bit. Set aside until you’re ready to eat.

Risotto:
Heat a large, flat-bottom pan over medium-high heat. Put olive oil, salt, garlic, celery and onion in pan, and begin to sweat, until translucent, being careful to not get any color.

Add rice to pan, coating all of it with the oil, stirring constantly, until the rice sounds dry. Add white wine and turn heat to high. At this point, you cannot walk away from risotto.

Constantly stir on high heat as rice continues to absorb the wine and water. Add water ¼ cup at a time. This usually takes about 20 minutes. After all the water is in, remove from heat and check the rice’s texture (everyone has a different preference on how al dente they like their risotto). Stir in all three cheeses and plate. Spoon cauliflower on top and drizzle with brown butter all over.

Yields four servings.


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