Adding hidden onion and cauliflower to risotto is a great way to give your family an extra serve of vegetables and a nutrient boost. I also like to use golden fried onion as a garnish because it’s just so delicious it makes everything taste even better. As a cheat, you can prepare it in the microwave if you like – see tips.
350g cauliflower, cut into florets
3 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 brown onion, sliced (to garnish – optional)
2 brown onions, finely diced
1 garlic clove, finely diced
200g (1 cup) arborio rice
450g (approx. 3 medium-large) peeled and diced tomatoes (see Tips)
2 cups quality stock or bone broth (chicken or vegetable)
80 g Parmesan cheese, grated or shaved
80 g cheddar cheese, grated or cut into small cubes
1. Place cauliflower into a food processor or high-powered blender (such as a Thermomix) and process until very finely chopped (similar to consistency of grains of rice). Transfer into a bowl and set aside.
2. To prepare onion garnish (optional), heat half of the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add sliced onion and fry until golden and crisp. Remove from pan and set aside on kitchen paper towel to drain (see Tip).
3. Lower heat to medium-low and heat remaining oil in pan. Add diced onion and garlic and cook about 8 minutes until soft and pale golden. Add rice and stir to coat. Add tomatoes and stir for 5 minutes.
4. Add stock a spoonful at a time, stirring and allowing each to absorb before adding the next (this should take about 15 minutes).
5. Add reserved cauliflower. Cook, stirring, for about 10-15 minutes or until cauliflower is cooked and rice is tender. Add cheddar and two-thirds of the Parmesan. Stir through until melted and combined.
6. Serve risotto topped with remaining Parmesan and reserved golden onion.
• To remove skins from tomatoes, place into a bowl and cover with boiling water. Using a sharp knife, cut a small cross in base of each tomato. Carefully submerge tomatoes in boiling water for about 1 minute or until skins split. Remove from water and set aside until cool enough to touch. Peel away skins, then dice flesh (peeled, diced weight should be 450g).
• If you prefer, you can microwave the sliced onion to create the onion garnish. Place on a microwave-proof plate and toss through 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil. Spread out to avoid clumping. Microwave on high for 6-8 minutes, stopping to stir every 2 minutes, until golden. Keep a close eye on the onion during cooking to ensure it does not burn.
• Feel free to make the risotto as wet in consistency as you like. Just add more stock as needed to suit your preferences.