Like everything else in life, cooking relies on a subtle equilibrium, and yet, on any given day, that dynamic can veer toward an uncomfortable imbalance. While I certainly subscribe to the philosophy "nothing ventured, nothing lost," there are times (whether in my kitchen or elsewhere) when I simply need something to work.
For the next four weeks, I'll share tips, techniques or products that have been game changers for our little house. One of my all-time favorites is 30-minute roasted cauliflower rice, which is an invention born of necessity. I found myself skipping absolutely scrumptious recipes like Crispy Peanut Tofu or Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala because serving them with rice made them too heavy.
Although there are plenty of cauliflower rice recipes out there, I do think the one I've been tweaking for the past year results in the nuttiest, most satisfying "rice" -- with just a little extra effort.
30 MINUTE ROASTED CAULIFLOWER RICE
- 1 large head fresh cauliflower
- 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Rinse your cauliflower and begin chopping into 1 to 1 1/2 inch florets. This is not a time for your finest vegetable butchery: Rough approximations are fine, and the little "cauliflower crumbs" that seem to tumble off should be cooked as well - they'll brown more quickly, and everyone knows that browned bits are the best.
- Drizzle roughly 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil over your cauliflower (this may be more or less depending on volume of florets you have). The cauliflower needs just a thin coating of oil before it receives generous salt and pepper. Toss to combine.
- Dump cauliflower in a single layer on an ungreased cookie sheet and pop into the oven. Roughly halfway through the 30 minute baking time, flip your now browning morsels over to crisp on the other side. If you're seeing golden to dark brown, you're doing great. Carmelization is what we love about our cauliflower rice, since it brings out the natural sugars in this nutritional powerhouse and adds nuttiness to your final "rice."
- Working in batches, pulse your florets in food processor (we love our Cuisinart mini chopper) and enjoy! Your "rice" will keep well in the fridge and also freezes just fine - Trader Joe's even makes a version for all the time-crunched weeknight warriors out there.