Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Craving Cauliflower Risotto

I recently went back to the Franklin Square Wine Bar in Oakland, where I had this wonderful cauliflower risotto that I raved about here. But the cauliflower risotto wasn’t on the menu! (I guess the owner didn’t read the part where I suggested that the cauliflower risotto be the restaurant’s signature dish!)

They offered a saffron risotto, which was fine but not the same experience of the creamy white risotto with chunks of cauliflowers. So you know what? I just made it myself at home.

The following is my riff on the Franklin Square Wine Bar’s cauliflower risotto. I added sausages and mushrooms to make it more of a meal, but the technique of adding cream and making it a bit more soupy I have to credit to Franklin Square. Like my buddy Jamie likes to say, it was brilliant! Enjoy!


Anonymous said...

The Cauliflower risotto sounds great. But I seem to recall, in one of the Top Chef shows, hearing that putting cream in risotto is a big no-no, that the point of risotto is to make it creamy by proper cooking and the "cream" from the rice itself. That adding cream or milk is simply not done. Have you ever heard that?

Chef Ben said...

I think I may have heard that on Top Chef too. Probably traditionalists might frown on adding cream. And I too have always made risotto without cream.

Chefs, however, do always add something to help accentuate the creaminess of the rice itself, such as they'll add butter at the end or Parmesan cheese is always the standard for extra texture. So I kind of look at the heavy cream as something along those lines (as opposed to cheating).

I don't do it all the time because I'm not a big proponent of cream (for health reasons) but just a dash in this cauliflower risotto just makes it more special, I think. Experiment!