Pumpkin Cauliflower Risotto

cauliflower risotto with squash and sage

Risotto is an easy and relaxing thing to make on a cozy fall night at home with friends. Everyone hangs out in the kitchen and takes turns stirring, all the while conveniently sipping on the white wine used in the dish. Our risotto has a twist that makes it a bit more healthy too, which is great during this time of year when our lust for vegetables can wane. We up the veg quotient by replacing about half of the rice with cauliflower. It’s just as hearty as usual and no less creamy. The rice does its job of releasing starch while being stirred, creating that signature creamy risotto texture and the pumpkin adds a rich and earthy fall flavor.

Serves 6 as an appetizer 4 as a main

  • 12head cauliflower
  • 4-5cups high quality gluten-free vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1cup Arborio or Carnaroli rice
  • 12cup dry white wine
  • 1teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2cups (9 ounces) pumpkin, kachoba or butternut squash, peeled and diced small
  • 4large sage leaves, finely chopped
  • 13cup finely chopped parsley
  • 1cup (1.5 ounces) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Cut the florets off the cauliflower, discard core. Pulse the cauliflower in a food processor until it forms small rice-like pieces, set aside. You should have about four cups. Heat the stock in a medium pot until steaming, turn heat to low, keep warm.
  • 2
  • Heat the butter and olive oil in a deep medium-sized saucepan over medium heat. Once the butter foams, add the onion. Saute for 5 minutes, until softened. Add rice, continue to cook and stir until it begins to be translucent.
  • 3
  • Turn heat to medium-high and add the wine, simmer until just about dry. Add the salt and one cup chicken stock while stirring. Each time the liquid evaporates, add more stock by the cupful and stir in, massaging the starch from the rice. The rice should always be lightly veiled in liquid. After about 25 minutes, once the rice is mostly cooked but still a bit stiff in the center, stir in one more cup of the broth, along with the cauliflower and squash. Cook and stir until the cauliflower is no longer crunchy and pumpkin is cooked through, about 10 minutes. Add more liquid as necessary. Fold in the sage, parsley, and Parmesan. Season to taste with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Serve right away.