I saw this recipe for Creamy cauliflower garlic rice on the fantastic American blog Pinch of Yum and I was bowled over by the simple genius of the idea of a cauliflower sauce. A creamy, almost béchamel-like sauce, made purely of vegetables and stock / milk? Why didn’t I think of this?! It is seriously up my street, obsessed as I am with cauliflower (you’ll see several recipes for variations on cauliflower soup here on the blog, as well as a host of other cauliflower recipes).
Brown rice is soooo good for you. I also find it very forgiving, as it’s a robust grain that stays firm and nutty – and in separated grains – pretty much whatever you do! This is a great way to get your family eating it up.
I didn’t stick to their recipe, more just took inspiration from it. I added an onion to up the veggie content, and some fresh herbs (rosemary) and also a few slices of prosciutto that I had to hand. This was to add a salty note, and also to make it more appealing to my son, who is obsessed with cured meats.
My kids went nuts for it! It’s a bit like a risotto, but the brown rice gives it a chewier (in a good way) and nuttier texture. It’s also quicker (if you have cooked rice to hand) and less work than a risotto, which I am making less of in the week, now my daughter is getting to that
demanding playful age of almost 2! ; )
So, I made a load of cauliflower sauce. I have a lot left over – which I am going to have as a soup actually, or maybe pour it over pasta with the addition of more cheese. I have given the amounts below to make what I judge to be the correct amount to not have any (or much) sauce leftover – simple double up if you want to make more. The beauty of this sauce is that you can make a load, use some up in the recipe here, making it as saucy as you like, and then save the rest to use the next day.
Also, this recipe is really adaptable, which I love. Try making it with spinach or peas, replace the mozzarella with parmesan… Maybe combine the rice and sauce in a baking dish, and finish it in the oven with a cheesy breadcrumb topping?
I’m actually finishing off a reheated bowl right now as I type, this time with a squeeze of lemon. Gosh, it’s really good. Do try – and please let me know if you adapt it with success – I want your ideas!
Serves: 4 adults
Prep time: 20 minutes (including rice cooking time)
Cook time: 20 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes
For the rice (1 part rice, 2 parts water):
230g (uncooked weight) brown rice – I use a half pint glassful
740ml of cold water – 2 x half pint glassful
For the sauce:
Half a head of cauliflower, including leaves if you like (I do), chopped small-ish
About 470ml veg stock or a mixture of milk and stock (you can add more to get it less thick once the cauli’ is cooked)
To make the dish:
6 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 onion, diced
2 tablespoons of olive oil
3 or 4 stalks of rosemary, leaves stripped and chopped finely
4 slices of prosciutto, snipped with scissors
1 ball of mozzarella, chopped roughly into small chunks
Salt and pepper
Extra virgin olive oil, to serve
- Rinse the brown rice well, and cover with cold water (twice the amount of rice). Bring to boil and cook till all the water has gone. Takes about 20 minutes. (I do this in the morning, so when I come back to make dinner, I am dealing with cold cooked brown rice.)
- Chop the cauli’ up, roughly, into small pieces, so they cook quite quickly. Small florets are fine. Cover with hot stock / milk and bring to boil, then reduce to a simmer. The liquid needs to cover the cauliflower so it cooks evenly. Once it’s cooked, after about 10-15 minutes, blitz in a food processor. You want a thick soup consistency. If it’s a little too thin, don’t worry, just don’t put as much in – leftovers are nice as soup! If it’s too thick, simply add a little more milk.
- Meanwhile, sweat the onion and garlic for about 5 minutes, to soften. Add the herbs, and prosciutto and cook a little more, so the meat crisps up a little. Tip in the cooked rice (warm or cold), and heat through. Add the cauliflower sauce, stir to combine. Scatter the chopped cheese through and let it melt, stirring gently. Let it heat through to a gently bubble. Season to taste, then serve. Be very smug that your kids are eating brown rice and loving it!