Zest and juice of 1/2 lemon, preferably organic (about 1/4 teaspoon zest and 1 tablespoon juice)
Garnish: 1/4 cup sliced almonds or a few sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed from stems and larger leaves torn into small pieces
Place your oven racks in the lower third and upper third positions. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
Heat the olive oil in a medium Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and turning translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook until the garlic is fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes.
Add 4 cups broth (or 3 cups broth and 1 cup water), cover, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove from heat and stir in the rice. Cover the pot and bake on the lower rack until rice is tender and cooked through, about 65 to 70 minutes. It will seem pretty dry when you take off the lid, but don’t worry!
Immediately afterward, toss the cauliflower with 2 tablespoons olive oil on your lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and some freshly ground black pepper and arrange the cauliflower in a single layer on the pan. Roast on the upper rack until the florets are tender and the edges are deeply caramelized, tossing halfway. This took the full hour for me, but start checking the cauliflower for doneness around 40 minutes.
In the meantime, toast your almonds in a small skillet over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant and turning lightly golden on the edges, about 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl to cool.
Remove the pot from the oven. Pour in the remaining cup of broth, the Parmesan, wine and butter. Stir vigorously for 2 to 3 minutes, until the rice is thick and creamy. Stir in the salt, a generous amount of pepper, pinch of red pepper flakes, lemon zest and juice.
Section off one-fourth of the cauliflower to use as a garnish. Chop any large remaining pieces of cauliflower into more bite-sized pieces before transferring three-fourths of the cauliflower to your pot of risotto. Stir in the cauliflower. Taste and add more salt, pepper or lemon juice as needed.
Divide the risotto into bowls and top with the remaining roasted cauliflower and a sprinkling of toasted almonds or fresh thyme.
Recipe adapted from my mushroom risotto. *Make it nut free: Skip the almonds. Garnish with fresh thyme leaves instead. Storage suggestions: This risotto keeps well in the refrigerator, covered, for a few days. Change it up: Feel free to substitute any prepared vegetables for the mushrooms! If you must use white arborio rice: Bake it for 40 to 45 minutes, until tender to the bite, and proceed as directed.
If you don’t have a Dutch oven: Use a large saucepan instead, then carefully pour the boiling broth and rice mixture into a casserole dish. If the casserole dish has an oven-safe lid, use that; if not, cover it tightly with foil. Bake as directed.
▸ Nutrition Information
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