Risotto, the classic Italian rice dish traditionally made with Arborio or Carnaroli rice, is delicious paired with just about anything.
Here we've created an all-white risotto with tender cauliflower, creamy mascarpone and nutty Parmesan cheese. It makes a lovely side dish for roasts or grilled meats and can serve as both vegetable and starch.
Substitute vegetable broth for the chicken stock for a vegetarian version of this dish.
Place the cauliflower florets, garlic, milk and 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a medium-size saucepan and bring to a simmer over low heat. Cook, uncovered, until the cauliflower is crisp-tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside at room temperature. Discard the milk.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until the onion has softened, about 5 minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring constantly for 2 minutes, to heat the kernels and coat them with butter. Add the wine and cook until the liquid evaporates, stirring frequently. Add 1/2 cup of the hot chicken stock and cook until the liquid is absorbed. Continue to add the stock in 1/2 cupfuls and cook until each is absorbed, stirring frequently, until the rice is al dente (tender but not mushy), 20 to 25 minutes. You may not need all of the stock.
Add the mascarpone, the reserved cauliflower and the Parmesan, and stir to combine. Cook over low heat until the cheese melts, about 2 minutes. If the risotto seems dry, add more chicken stock. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve hot.