Cauliflower "Rice"

Cauliflower, part of the cruciferous vegetable group, is loaded with important phytonutrients shown to fight cancer and inflammation. Combine that with the mild flavor profile and low-carb quality of this summer vegetable, and you have a perfect substitute for rice.

This is a basic cauliflower rice, similar to a basic white rice. Like white rice, you can easily add any number of flavors to suit your menu and palette. You won't believe how easy this is, and your family may not even notice that it's not actually rice. Serve one of the variations below as a side dish, or use the plain version as a base for your favorite bean or Southeast Asian dish. 

INGREDIENTS (Serves 4)

  • 1 head cauliflower

  • 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

  • Course salt and freshly-ground black pepper to taste

METHOD

  1. Remove the core, leaves, and any black or brown spots from the cauliflower head. Wash and pat dry (if wet, final dish will be soggy). Roughly chop the cauliflower into smaller florets.

  2. Place chopped cauliflower in a food processor and pulse until the cauliflower is about the size of a grain of rice. This can be done in two or three small batches to avoid over-processing. Don't over process - this will result in mushy "rice". 

  3. In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, add olive oil. Add the prepared cauliflower. Cover and cook for approximately 5 to 6 minutes, stirring frequently, until the cauliflower is tender but not soft, similar to "al dente" pasta. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

  4. Remove from heat and serve.

VARIATIONS

  • Cilantro-Lime Cauliflower Rice (shown):  Stir in 2-3 tablespoons fresh, chopped cilantro and squeeze the juice of 1/2 lime to fully cooked "rice". Stir well to combine.

  • Cauliflower Rice with Onions: Sauté 1 medium onion, diced small in olive oil until translucent and tender before adding "rice". 

  • Garlic and Onions Cauliflower Rice: Sauté 1 medium onion, diced small in olive oil until translucent and tender. Add 2 to 3 cloves of minced garlic and sauté until fragrant. Add "rice" and cook until tender.

  • Curried Cauliflower Rice: Sauté 1 medium onion, diced small, and 1-inch knob of ginger, minced, in olive oil until onions become translucent. Add 1 to 2 cloves of minced garlic and 1 Tbsp curry powder and continue to sauté for another minute. Add "rice" and cook until tender. 

  • Herb Cauliflower Rice: Add 1/4 cup of any fresh herb, such as basil, parsley, cilantro, scallions, chives, and/or other herbs of your choice. Onion and garlic with cilantro or parsley is fantastic!