This risotto is really simple and basic, but it tastes so decadent. The rich, creamy, garlicky sauce is made from a blend of cashews and cauliflower combined with Italian herbs. Want to take this dish to the next level? Stir in some vegan Parmesan and top it with crisp kale chips!
Cauliflower Sauce Risotto With Herbs and Kale Chips [Vegan, Gluten-Free]
For the Risotto:
- 1 1/2 cups dry uncooked risotto rice
- 1 head cauliflower
- 2 cubes or teaspoons vegetable bouillon
- 6 cups water
- 1/2 yellow onion
- 7 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
- 3 tablespoon vegan butter
- 1/2 cup soaked cashews
- 1 cup water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup of lightly dried or fresh herbs like cilantro, parsley, and basil
- Vegan Parmesan, for topping
For the Optional Kale Chips:
- 1/2 head kale, chopped into 1-2-inch strips
- 1 teaspoon olive oil or avocado oil
- Sea salt and pepper
- Cook the risotto rice in the same way you would cook normal white or brown rice.
- Set the cashews in a bowl covered with water and let them soak.
- Preheat oven to 400°F for the kale chips.
- Get out the following: food processor to blend the sauce, blender for the cashew cream, a cookie sheet to make the kale chips, a saucepan for the onion and garlic, and large pot for boiling the cauliflower.
To Make the Risotto:
- Cut the large stem off the cauliflower. Chop the rest into big pieces. Set the cauliflower in a large pot on the stove. Cover it with the 6 cups of water and the bouillon cubes/paste. Boil the broth. And then turn the heat down to medium/low and cook covered with the lid until cauliflower is soft and fully cooked. About 8 or so minutes. Do not discard the water. Using a slotted spoon you'll want to remove the cauliflower from the hot broth and put it into a food processor for blending.
- Add the butter and onion only to a saucepan on medium heat. Let the onions cook for about 5 minutes until they are translucent and start to caramelize a little on the edges. Add garlic and cook 1 more minute. Remove from heat. Add this mixture to the cauliflower in the food processor bowl.
- Add the soaked cashews to a blender with 1 cup water. Blend this up until creamy. Add 1/2 cup this cream to the food processor bowl with the cauliflower and butter mixture.
- Now that everything is in the food processor, you'll want to add the salt and pepper. Blend away. And keep adding the cauliflower broth for more liquid if needed. You don't want this sauce to be super duper creamy and thick. But you don't want it to be a soup, either. So play around and keep adding broth by a spoonful until you have the perfect texture. No chunks.
- Add the cauliflower sauce to the warm risotto rice. Blend gently with a large slotted spoon or wooden spoon. Gently fold the sauce into the rice. Add all the fresh or lightly dried herbs.
To Make the Kale Chips:
- Chop the kale. Large stems removed. Add the pieces to a cookie sheet. Gently massage the olive oil, salt, and pepper into the kale. Lay the pieces evenly across the cookie sheet. Do not overlap.
- Cook about 6 minutes in the oven. You'll know when they are done. They are very flat and the color changes to a darker brown. They should not be burnt.
- Garnish the risotto with these little kale chips.