Cauliflower is shredded into a rice like texture and mixed with mushrooms, walnuts and fresh sage to make low carb cauliflower risotto, a riff on a classic dish.
This recipe was inspired by a wine tasting farm to table dinner that I recently attended. This is the second wine dinner that I have been to this summer, and I have to say I am really enjoying learning more about pairing wine with food. I am a foodie at heart, but I believe that a good meal can taste so much better when it’s paired with the right wine.
The evening began with salmon tartare, tomato sorbet, castelvetrano olives and creme fraische all in one bowl. I was happy that they served this with a spoon so that I could enjoy every last drop, it was that good! This course was paired with Prisoner’s Blindfold; a white wine that’s fruity (peaches and apricots), slightly sweet and the perfect partner for this dish.
Course number two was a terrine of beet with burnt orange coulis (a thick sauce) and ricotta cheese. So many different flavors, yum! It was deliciously paired with Saldo Zinfandel, a perfect vibrant and smooth match for this dish.
Course number three was a cauliflower risotto and my favorite course. It was so rich and creamy. Once again a perfect pair with The Prisoner Napa Valley Red Blend; a bold red blend that met its match with the rich and creamy risotto.
The last course was beef shank agnolotti which was little pasta squares (think ravioli) filled with beef served on top of summer corn and mushroom hache (chopped mushrooms in a rich sauce). It was a melange of wonderful flavors that blended exquisitely. It was paired with Prisoner’s Cuttings, a robust wine with lots of tannins. In the Sommelier’s words, this course is a party in your mouth, and it certainly was!
Here is a re-cap of the evening, and a thank you to Gary Wiesner of Gary Wiesner Photography for letting me use his beautiful photos . . .
Even though it was an impeccable dinner, it’s not the kind of food that most of us prepare at home on a daily basis. And that had me thinking, why not enjoy a good bottle of wine that’s well paired with an everyday dinner? I don’t know about you, but in our home, we often open a bottle of wine without really even thinking about what we are going to eat for dinner, maybe that’s because to a foodie, food is the main attraction. That mentality is shifting.
I’ve made a few cauliflower rice dishes in the past and I loved the idea of cauliflower risotto. I decided to make a lighter and easier version to serve with a simple grilled steak while I tried my hand at pairing at home. I knew this was going to be a red wine dinner, but not a heavy one. The cauliflower risotto with meaty mushrooms and the fragrant sage combined with a lightly seasoned steak did not lend themselves to a heavy wine in my opinion. I was thinking something on the lighter side like a Pinot Noir or Zinfandel. Since beef was involved, a Pinot Noir might be a little too light, so I chose to enjoy this dinner with a Zinfandel, and everyone agreed it was a good choice.
Unlike regular risotto, cauliflower risotto takes very little time to make, it’s low carb and gluten free. I made it with a splash of white wine and added freshly grated parmesan just before serving. Here’s how you make it.
- ½ head medium cauliflower
- 1½ tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- ¼ cup minced onion
- 6 ounces of mushrooms sliced
- ¼ cup white wine or vegetable broth
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped sage
- ¼ cup chopped toasted walnuts
- Trim the stems from the cauliflower and break into florets. Place florets into a food processor and pulse a minute or two until it is the consistency of rice. Alternatively, you can shred the .
- cauliflower with a box grater
- heat oil in a skillet over medium heat and add the onion and garlic let cook until it begins to soften - about a minute or two.
- add the mushrooms and cook for about 5 minutes and remove from pan
- wipe pan clean and add the cauliflower and wine or broth to pan - cover and cook for 5 minutes. Remove cover and continue to cook for another 3 minutes
- stir in the mushrooms and sage
- Add the walnuts and last, stir in the cheese until all ingredients are combined
Variations. . .
- For a vegan or dairy free version, substitute the cheese with equal portion of nutritional yeast
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