I’m not very trendy. I have this unconscious habit (well it isn’t unconscious anymore, ok? Sigh, you technical people!) of warming up to styles as they’re on their way out. To be honest, I can’t even tell you what the fashion trend is now. Are midriffs still a thing? Or is it neon colours? Or both? I’m open to change, but usually at the time when everyone is already working on their 2nd change. Ah well.
Just like fashion, the food industry has its own trends (kale revolution, anyone?), and the vegetable that has been everywhere recently is cauliflower. It’s amazing overall, but it is absolute magic for vegans. I’ve seen it used as a replacement for pizza crusts, pesto, popcorn and alfredo sauce, I’ve even cooked it a few different ways – roasted whole and steamed. Today I’m following the trend and sharing a Cauliflower Rice / Cous cous that I came up with. I know if you’re a rice fan, you’re probably getting annoyed right now. I know my sister and brother probably are. But seriously – chopped up cauliflower is amazing! I don’t know whether to call it rice or cous cous because it really works as either. Maybe I should default to a celebrity mashup name and call it ‘Rous rous’. Or ‘Cice’.
Now that I’ve more or less gotten over my flu, I wanted to make up for time wasted because of the sluggishness I’ve been feeling. This meant that I wanted to OD on veggies. This recipe ended up being a “clean out your fridge” kinda recipe – I looked at the sad little forlorn vegetables, picked up those carrots that we buy every week but somehow never use, the slightly wilted kale, and a handful of other veggies. I ended up serving this with eggplant & mushroom veggie burger patties, roasted broccoli, roasted asparagus and hummus. Overall, I had 9 vegetables (onions and garlic are vegetables, right?), 2 types of nuts (walnuts in the burgers), and a legume (chickpeas in the hummus). I humblebragged and messaged a friend – “I’m back, bitches!”
Because I also wanted to stick to my Food Resolution of using up items in my pantry, I drizzled pistachio oil at the end of cooking to amp up the flavour. Well damn. Pistachio oil tastes more pistachio-y than the actual nuts, if you can believe it. If you have it, please add it to your dish. If not, no biggie, add your nuts and mentally add the oil to your shopping list for next time.
Pistachio Cauliflower Rice / Cous cous
1 head Cauliflower, cut into florets
4 tbsp Olive Oil, divided
1 small Carrot, diced
1 Red Onion, sliced
2 Garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp Pistachio Oil (can omit if you don’t have)
½ cup Kale, chopped
½ cup Pistachio Nuts
½ – ¾ tsp Salt
½ tsp Black Pepper
¼ tsp Red Pepper Flakes
Warm 2 tbsp olive oil in a skillet and add onions, garlic & carrots. Cook for about 5 minutes, until carrots are softened. While this is cooking, place cauliflower in a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Pulse until florets are chopped into small coarse pieces, resembling short grain rice or cous cous.
Add Cauliflower to skillet along with salt, red and black pepper and remaining olive oil. Stir once and leave mixture to char a little, about 5-8 minutes. The burned, crispy bits add ridiculous flavor.
Pulse pistachio nuts in food processor until coarsely chopped. Add kale and nuts to skillet. Stir in pistachio oil if using and heat through.
So there you have it – another way to cook that innocuous cauliflower taking up space in your crisper drawer. Although I’m open to food trends, I don’t think that cauliflower will actually ever be out of style. Same goes for my sneakers, plaid 3/4 sleeve shirts, any kind of stripes, cardigans, and cargo pants. Don’t judge me.