"Taleggio is a washed-rind cheese from northern Italy and although it has a pronounced pong its flavour is surprisingly sweet and mild. Creamy and melty, it's lovely here with the cauliflower, rice and nuts, but you could use a blue cheese, such as gorgonzola dolce, instead." - Leanne Kitchen.
50g (1/3 cup) hazelnuts
2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
100g (1/3 cup) butter
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves
500g cauliflower, trimmed and cut into florets
300g (1 1/3 cups) arborio or other risotto rice
125mL (1/2 cup) white wine
1.25L (5 cups) simmering chicken or vegetable stock, approximately
200g taleggio, chopped
12 sage leaves
Heat the oven to 180 C (350 F). Place the hazelnuts on a small tray and roast for 10 minutes or until light golden. Wrap the nuts in a tea towel, then leave for 5 minutes to allow the skins to loosen. Rub the nuts in the towel to remove the skins. Coarsely chop the nuts and set aside.
Heat the oil and 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic then cook, stirring, for 6 minutes or until the onion has softened. Add the cauliflower, cover the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes or until softened. Stir in the rice and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until heated through. Add the wine, bring to the boil and cook, stirring, until the wine has nearly evaporated.
Add about 250mL (1 cup) of the hot stock then cook, stirring constantly, until the stock is nearly all absorbed. Add another 250mL (1 cup) of stock and stir until nearly absorbed. Repeat until the stock has gone and the rice is just cooked through; the mixture should be very creamy – add a little extra stock, or water, if necessary. Stir in the taleggio, season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground pepper and cover to keep the risotto warm.
Heat the remaining butter in a frying pan over medium-high heat, add the sage leaves and cook, swirling the pan occasionally, for 2–3 minutes, or until the butter smells nutty. Add the hazelnuts. Divide the risotto into four bowls, then spoon butter mixture over each bowl and serve.
Credits: Images and recipes from Cauliflower is King by Leanne Kitchen, Murdoch Books, RRP $19.99 Photography by Leanne Kitchen, Illustrations by Alissa Dinallo and Kitty Clement.