Creamy Cauliflower Risotto with Arugula Pesto & Crispy Prosciutto
Prep time: 20 minutes • Cook time: 10 minutes
Yields: 4 Servings
- ARUGULA PESTO:
- ½ cup walnut halves & pieces
- 2 medium organic garlic cloves, minced
- 2 cups Earthbound Farm Organic Baby Arugula, packed
- ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
- kosher salt, to taste
- 1 medium Earthbound Farm Organic Cauliflower
- 1 cup chicken broth (substitute vegetable broth, if preferred)
- 2 Tbsp mascarpone cheese
- 1 ¼ cups arugula pesto (see above)
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (more for garnish)
- 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 3 oz prosciutto
- ¾ cup walnuts (for garnish)
- salt & pepper to taste
Using finely chopped cauliflower as “rice” for a risotto, is an easy way to add more veggie nutrition and deliciousness to your favorite risotto dishes. (And cauliflower takes a fraction of the time to cook as arborio rice, which makes this a totally doable weeknight dinner!) By stirring a generous amount of a simple but flavor-packed arugula pesto, mascarpone cheese and parmesean into the cauliflower “rice”, you won’t sacrifice any of the veltvety creaminess that you love about rice-based risottos. The garnishes help tie it all together, including a touch of heat with red pepper flakes; crispy proscuitto for a pop of crispy, salty and porky goodness (easily omittable if you prefer veg); and toasted walnuts to complement the walnuts in the pesto.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a food processor, combine the walnuts, garlic, arugula, parmesan, and 1 tsp salt and pulse to blend. With the machine running, pour in the olive oil through the food tube in a slow, steady stream and process until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Set aside.
Line one, large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Lay prosciutto slices flat on the baking sheet. Bake until fat turns golden and meat is darker, about 15 minutes (rotating baking sheets from top to bottom halfway through baking time). Using tongs, carefully transfer prosciutto to paper towels to drain (it will crisp as it cools).
Pull off the leaves and break the cauliflower into large florets, then rinse them well. At this point, you have three options: you can grate your cauliflower florets or you can process them in a food processor. For the processor, break the florets into smaller pieces, then put half of them in the large bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely chopped, then dump the rice out and pulse the remaining florets. If you don’t have a food processor or you want to make sure your cauliflower rice grains are uniform in size, using a box grater works well too (use the side with the larger grates). Of course, if you have good knives and patience, you can also chop by hand, too.
Add cauliflower and chicken broth to a large sautee pan on medium-high heat for about 8-10 minutes, stirring frequently, until the cauliflower softens but still remains slightly al dente. If you like the cauliflower softer, cover with lid for another minute or two.
Reduce heat to low, stir in arugula pesto, mixing thoroughly. Add mascarpone, parmesean cheese, and crushed red pepper flakes, stirring into everything is well incorporated. Add kosher salt and cracked pepper to taste.
Scoop into individual bowls or one large serving bowl and garnish with crumbled crispy proscuitto, walnuts and parmesean.