Riced Cauliflower

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Riced Cauliflower

This popular dish is commonly called cauliflower rice, but I found when I referred to it by that name people who weren’t familiar with this dish that replaces the rice with cauliflower were always asking where the rice was – if it’s called “Cauliflower Rice” it should be rice cooked with cauliflower, right?

This is for my daughter Jennifer, who has been asking me to post this recipe ever since I brought her some for dinner. Here you go, sweetie.

2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 to 4 cloves garlic, minced ~ how much you want depends on the size of the cloves and how garlicky you’d like it to taste
1 large head cauliflower – see instructions regarding prep of the cauliflower
sea salt to taste
1/2 to 1 bunch cilantro or parsley, stemmed and coarsely chopped
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon turmeric

Prep the cauliflower
You need a food processor for this.
(Jennifer wanted to know if she could use an immersion blender – ummm, don’t think so)
Discard the leaves. Cut the florets from the core and pull the florets apart. You will be using both.
Cut the core into 1/2 to 1 inch chunks.
You don’t want to fill the food processor too much or you’ll get some bits that are mushy and some that are large. I generally fill the bowl of the food processor only about half full to create an even consistency in the bits of cauliflower.
In batches, put the cauliflower florets into the food processor and pulse until you have the desired consistency – it should be the size of small grains of rice or couscous. Then put the core into the food processor and pulse, again till you have the same consistency.
The ground florets and core can together in a bowl and set aside while you start the rest of the dish.

Cook the dish
Using a 12″ sauté pan, heat the coconut oil just until melted then add the garlic. Sauté till the color of the garlic changes slightly to translucent and you have that lovely garlic aroma.
Add the cauliflower to the pan, a pinch or two of sea salt and the turmeric.
I have found not all turmeric is alike. I’ve used some that tastes like absolutely nothing and some that if you use too much you’ll get an awful astringent taste. So start with the 1/4 teaspoon and work your way up to more if you need it. I use Frontier Herbs brand turmeric, which is pretty potent. Also, my large cauliflower might be larger or smaller than yours, which would again use varying amounts of not only turmeric but also the salt. Garlic, however, can anyone have too much? Maybe, but not me 😉

Cook the cauliflower, stirring regularly, until it still has a bit of crunch to it, but it doesn’t taste raw, nor is it mushy. Usually about 5 to 8 minutes. You may occasionally need to add a splash of water to prevent burning. But this is only a splash. Adding too much water will give you mushy cauliflower.

Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Add the chopped parsley or cilantro and serve.

Variations on a theme
This is yummy with some pine nuts or cashews added to the dish.

I love this riced cauliflower with a variety of Indian spices such as cumin, cardamom and coriander.
If I’m putting these into the dish use:
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

You can add these spices to the cauliflower while it’s cooking but my preference is to “bloom” the spices by putting them into the coconut oil in the beginning, right before I add the garlic. Allowing the spices to bloom enhances their flavor, makes them a bit less gritty and in some circumstances, activates healing properties of some of these spices. You have to time it right so the spices and the garlic don’t burn.

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