Ultra creamy purple cauli risotto

I found a purple cauliflower at a local farmers market and got extremely excited. I used it to make a purple version of my lovely mac’n’cheese, which both looked and tasted glorious. I then got to thinkin’ about how else I might like to use purple cauliflower, and rather fancied a risotto. I’ve used my creamy cauli trick to make an ultra velvety and decadent-tasting risotto cream, which I add to the regular rice towards the end to envelop it in an alternative to the usual parmesan and butter. It taste’s deliciously savoury and garlicky, and is topped with toothsome roasted florets and a nice fresh scattering of basil. Splendid.

Serves 2

Ready in 50 minutes


  • 1 small red onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp. rosemary (dried or fresh)
  • 120g risotto (probably Arborio) rice
  • 1 purple cauliflower
  • 1 nice  veggie stock cube
  • 1 tbsp. soaked cashews
  • 1tbsp. nutritional yeast (totally optional)
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • A few basil leaves


  • Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 5.Pour 800ml of hot water in to a small saucepan and dissolve in your stock cube.  Place the pan on a low light on  the hob. It needs to be simmering away the whole time.
  • Place a larger saucepan on a low-medium heat with a splash of oil. Finely chop your onion and 1 clove of garlic, and add to the pan. Sweat for around 5 minutes until softened, and add the rosemary.
  • In the mean time, you can get on with the cauliflower prep. Remove the florets and cut down to bitesize pieces. Place on a baking tray with the whole remaining clove of garlic, drizzle with oil, salt, and pepper, and roast for 25-30 minutes until the cauliflower is tender and nicely browned around the edges.
  • Cut the stalk into 3 or 4 large chunks, and add to the pan of stock. Remember to fish it out with a slotted spoon once it is tender- about 10 minutes.
  • Back to the risotto: add the rice and stir around for a minute or two so that it gets a little bit toasty and gets kissed by the nicely flavoured oil.
  • Now add in a ladle-ful of stock at a time, and stir it into the rice until it dissolves. Then add another, and keep going. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that stirring the risotto constantly helps the rice to release it’s creamy, starchy  good ness.
  • Five minutes before your rice is cooked, make the lovely cauli cream. Put the cooked cauliflower stem into a blender with 2 ladles of stock if you have any left- otherwise use water from the kettle.  Blend until smooth. Take the garlic from your cauliflower roasting tray. and squeeze it out into the blender. Add the cashews, nutmeg, nutritional yeast if using, and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Blend until silky.
  • When  your rice is just about done to your liking, pour in the cream. Cook  for a few minutes if you prefer the risotto a little thicker, but I love it to be really soft and oozy. Add in half of the roasted cauliflower florets and fold in.
  • Decant the lilac delight into bowls and top with your remaining cauliflower and a scatter of basil leaves. Drizzle with good oil too, if you like. Savour.

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