Fox 8 Recipe Box: ‘Lucky’ Cauliflower Risotto

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Heirloom cauliflower "risotto" with celery root veloute’, micro celery salad, shaved purple cauliflower and toasted hazelnut breadcrumbs from Chef Erica Wides.

Chef Wides will be one of the featured chefs at the March Earth To Table Dinner benefiting the Culinary Vegetable Institute on Saturday, March 16th.


  • 1 large Celery root, peeled , cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 medium-sized  white cauliflower, coarsely chopped or pulsed in food processor; (pieces should be peppercorn-sized)
  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 2 shallots, peeled and minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup hazelnuts, toasted and finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup micro celery or tender celery leaves
  • 1 teaspoon thyme leaves or micro thyme
  • ½ cup lucky clover greens
  • 1 green apple, finely julienned
  • ½ teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 baby heirloom cauliflower (green, yellow or purple)


1. Place the peeled, cut celery root in a saucepan with the chicken stock and salt. Bring to a simmer and cook until the celery root is very soft, about 20 minutes.
2. Remove from the heat, and strain out the celery root, reserving the liquid. Place the celery root in a blender and add reserved liquid to cover it. Carefully puree the celery root until very smooth,  then ad the puree to any remaining liquid. You want a puree that is about the consistency of heavy cream.
3. Prepare the white cauliflower by separating the large florets, then chop it or pulse it in a food processor until all the cauliflower is about the size of peppercorns.
4. Place HALF the butter in a medium saucepan or saucier and melt it gently over low heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook over low heat until soft and fragrant but now browned.
5. Add the cauliflower and sauté until the cauliflower begins to soften.
6. Add enough of the celery root puree to cover the cauliflower, you may have extra puree, you can use it for soup. Simmer the cauliflower in the puree until it is very soft. Stir in the heavy cream and add salt to taste. Set aside.
7. In a small sauté pan, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and add the breadcrumbs and hazelnuts and toast the crumbs until fragrant. Set aside.
8. In a small bowl combine the celery, thyme, clover and green apple, add lemon juice and a pinch of salt.
9. Serve the cauliflower in a shallow bowl, topped with the breadcrumbs and celery salad. Using a microplane grater, shave purple cauliflower over just before serving.

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