MEATLESS MONDAY: Brie & Cauliflower Orzotto
I think just about every meal after my trip to Kenny’s Farm has featured some amount of cheese. Reason #1 is because it’s delicious cheese, and reason #2 is because our fridge broke 2 weeks ago and we have a very small replacement, so foods must be consumed! I’m up to the task, I think.
I’ve really been eating a lot more cauliflower lately. It’s one of my favorite vegetables, but oftentimes overlooked. It holds up well either roasted, sauteed, blanched, or fried and has great flavor and texture. Perhaps you remember the roasted cauliflower that I made a few weeks ago? If you’ve never tried it, you should. It’s a lot more versatile than sitting on a crudite plate with ranch dip.
You’re also probably wondering what the hell orzotto is. Well, the recipe I looked up was actually a risotto. Unfortunately, I had no arborio rice in the pantry. I did however, have orzo, which is a rice shaped pasta. Understanding that risotto is really more of a technique than a dish, I cooked orzo in the style of risotto. Hence, we now have orzotto.
Luxurious brie, crunchy cauliflower, and creamy pasta – this dish is delicious and substantial for an awesome Meatless Monday. Enjoy!
Brie and Cauliflower Orzotto (Serves 4 as a main course)
Recipe adapted from Epicurious
4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
2 1/2 cups water
3 thyme sprigs, plus 1 teaspoon leaves
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 head cauliflower, cut into 1/2-inch florets (about 4 cups)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, diced
1 1/2 cups orzo pasta
1/3 cup dry white wine
5 ounce Brie, rind discarded, cut into small pieces
1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted
3 tablespoons freshly minced chives
Bring broth, water, and thyme sprigs to a bare simmer in a medium saucepan.
Put all the orzo in a small nonstick pan over medium heat. Toast the orzo until it gets nicely roasted and has a nutty smell, about 5 minutes. This will deliver great taste to your orzotto.
Meanwhile, heat butter and 1 tablespoon oil in a 4-quart heavy saucepan over medium-high heat until foam subsides, then sauté cauliflower with 1/4 teaspoon salt until crisp-tender and golden brown, about 6 minutes. Add garlic and thyme leaves and sauté 1 minute. Transfer to a bowl.
Add remaining tablespoon oil to pan, then add onion and cook, stirring until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the orzo and stir for 30 seconds. Add the wine and simmer briskly, stirring, until wine has been absorbed, about 1 minute. Add 1/2 cup hot broth and briskly simmer, stirring, until broth has been absorbed. Continue simmering and adding hot broth, about 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly and waiting until each addition has been absorbed before adding the next, until rice is just tender and looks creamy, 18 to 22 minutes. (There will be leftover broth.)
Stir in cauliflower (save some for garnish), Brie, and salt and pepper to taste. Thin with some of remaining broth if desired. Serve topped with almonds, a thick slice of brie, and some more roasted cauliflower. Sprinkle chives over the top.