One thing I really missed about spring was the fresh snap peas. They are so vibrant and delicious. A perfect little snack and makes a fabulous ingredient in any vegetarian dish.
My hubby and I were watching a British cooking show and they made a dish very similar to this but instead of cauliflower they used regular risotto. Considering risotto is a grain/rice it has 680 calories, 152g of carbs and only 8g of fibre PER SERVING. I think that illustrates exactly why low carb cooking would never involve the cooking of carnaroli rice. Yummy as it may be, not appropriate for a diabetic, not a fantastic ingredient for those watching their weight, yadda, yadda, yadda, enough carnaroli rice bashing lets get back to this otherwise brilliant dish.
I am on a cauliflower kick just lately. It makes a great rice, pizza crust, shephards pie topping and even ingredient in baked goods. (oh you know that is coming soon too!)
When planning your meals for the week make sure you plan to make this on a night that you have lots of time. Prep can be very time consuming as you have to hull the peas by hand. Makes a nice family activity unless like mine they eat half the fresh peas they hull.
The finished risotto is a beautiful hue of light green with the pop of the red skinned radishes which are lovely fried. I chose to only eat the risotto as is (very filling BTW) but served the rest of the family some black forest ham with theirs. You can also easily make this a vegan dish if you substitute the butter and parmesan for a vegan alternative.
This is probably the most ideal Weight Watchers meal at a mere 2 Weight Watchers points. A dream meal for anyone eating a low carb diet and only 6.8g net carbs per serving and a healthy portion of protein at 6.1g.
One further note, now that you have opened that bottle of dry white wine, fill your glass and lets toast to the beginning of Spring! Clink!
Pea Cauliflower Risotto Recipe
By March 26, 2015Published:
- Yield: 4 Servings
- Prep: 60 mins
- Cook: 30 mins
- Ready In: 1 hr 30 mins
- 2 1/2 cups pea fresh, pods, shelled, shells reserved
- 1 cup iced water
- 1 tbsp butter unsalted
- 1/2 onion diced
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, finely grated
- 1 medium cauliflower
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 1/4 cup Parmesan freshly grated
- 1/4 lemon juiced
- 1 small zuchinni cut into slices
- 7 radish sliced
- 1 handful baby spinach
- sea salt to taste
- black pepper freshly ground
- 1 handful pea shoots , blanched (or onion sprouts)
- Hull fresh peas making sure to get at least 1/2 cup plump peas for the puree.
- In a large pan of simmering water, blanch the pea pod shells for 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, remove the blanched shells and plunge them in the iced water. (This keeps the colour and freshness.)
- Once cooled, blend the iced water and peas in a food processor until smooth. Strain through a fine sieve. Set aside 1/2 cup to make the pea puree and 1/4 cup to make the risotto.
- For the pea puree. In a small saucepan on a medium heat, cook the peas in the butter for 5 minutes, adding a pinch of salt. Add the 1/2 cup reserved pea stock, bring to a boil and simmer for 4 minutes. Transfer to a blender or food processor, blend until smooth and leave to cool.
- For the cauliflower risotto, trim the leaves from the cauliflower and cut into flowerettes discarding stems.
- Steam cauliflower for 6 minutes till slightly tender but not cooked through (DO NOT over cook).
- Transfer the cauliflower to your food processor and process for 30 seconds till cauliflower is a snowy rice consistency.
- Heat oil in a skillet over low heat, gently fry the onion in the olive oil with a pinch of salt for 2 minutes, until translucent. Add the garlic. Stir in the cauliflower and continue to cook for 3 minutes.
- Pour in the wine, then 1/4 cup reserved pea stock, stir and bring to the gentlest simmer. Season with salt and pepper then cover with a lid and cook for 20 minutes and do not allow to boil.
- After 20 minutes stir the cauliflower quickly for 5 minutes to achieve a creamy consistency.
Stir in cooled pea puree and the Parmesan. Season to taste and set aside.
- In a small saucepan on a high heat, bring the butter, 4 tbsp water and a pinch of salt to the boil. Add the zucchini, cover with a lid and cook on a high heat for 30 seconds, then add the peas, radishes and spinach. Cover again and cook for 20 seconds or until spinach is wilted. Drain and set aside.
- To finish the risotto, stir in the lemon juice and olive oil. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Add a dash of white wine to sharpen the flavour if desired.
- Serve the cauliflower risotto in a large dish topped with the vegetables, blanched pea shoots or sprouts and a few shavings of Parmesan.