Creamy Cauliflower and Spinach Risotto


It's been a (long!) while since I posted a recipe. In large part, that's because I'm living in college during my masters, and so my friends and I often just go to the hall to eat dinner at the end of the day. It's kind of nice when someone else does all of the prep work, cooking, and cleaning for you, and all you have to do is sit down and eat. On the other hand, I'm unfortunately rather picky, and so I get tired of institutional food fairly quickly. Sometimes I just need to throw something together for myself, and this week was one of those times, especially after having been away for a few days, which meant that I had to eat out no matter what.
Of course, studying and researching all day doesn't leave me with too much time to put together a leisurely dinner, and I suspect that no matter what you do, you're probably in the same boat. This recipe involves minimal clean-up and doesn't take too long to put together, plus it's delicious, which is exactly what I needed. Add a salad and some bread, and this dish is the perfect weeknight meal.

Creamy Cauliflower and Spinach Risotto
serves 5-7

1 package risotto
1 head cauliflower
Olive oil
1 shallot (or small yellow onion is a fine substitute)
3 cloves garlic
Salt and fresh-ground pepper
1 cup cream
1 package spinach leaves
Grated Parmesan or pecorino cheese, to taste

Heat the oven to 375 deg. F. Cut the cauliflower into small florets, drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and lay on a lined baking sheet. Roast for 20 to 30 minutes, until browning. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan on medium-high heat, warm a tablespoon or so of olive oil. Chop the shallot and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, then dice the garlic and add to the pan. After an additional 2 or 3 minutes, add the risotto and additional olive oil if required. After two minutes, add water or broth to the pot according to package directions. Once the liquid has evaporated, reduce the heat under the saucepan to low and add the cream, plus a pinch of salt and a generous amount of freshly ground pepper. Give the mixture a turn, then add the spinach, and let the mixture cook until the spinach has wilted. Incorporate the roasted cauliflower, and top with grated hard cheese, to taste.
If you'd like, I think that sautéed chicken would be a good addition to the risotto. Simply add cooked chicken when incorporating the cauliflower.
xx
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