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Cauliflower and Buckweat Risotto

This is just a fantastic alternative to a tradition risotto, which is bursting with flavour.  I have made this with a beautifil homemade beef stock as well as a lighter vegetable stock option.  

INGREDIENTS

1 cup buckwheat (not the pre-toasted variety)

½ head cauliflower, cut into florets

ghee or olive oil for sautéing and roasting (3 tablespoons for sautéing and 3 tablespoons for roasting)

3 garlic cloves, finely diced

1 leek, trimmed and finely sliced

½ teaspoon dried tarragon

½ cup white wine

zest of one lemon

1 bay leaf

3 ½ cups vegetable stock (or I have used good quality beef stock for a richer, heartier version)

½ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

To serve

½ cup almonds, roughly chopped

fresh flat leaf parsley leaves

METHOD

1.  Place buckwheat in a large bowl and cover with cold water. Leave to soak overnight or for at least 8 hours. Drain and rinse very well under running water until no longer gluggy. Set aside.

2.  Preheat the oven to 200°C. Place the cauliflower in an ovenproof dish. Toss well with oil and roast for approximately 35 minutes until tender and the tips are browned. Season generously with salt.

3.  Meanwhile, heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a sauté pan over a medium heat. Add the garlic and the leek and cook gently without browning until translucent and soft.

4.  Add the tarragon, white wine, buckwheat, lemon zest, bay leaf and roughly half the stock. Reduce the heat slightly and cook until the liquid is almost entirely all absorbed, stirring often. Remove the bay leaf after 15 minutes.

5.  Continue to add the stock in half cup increments and stir very regularly. This will take approximately 45 minutes total. The risotto is finished when the buckwheat is tender and the texture is creamy and not too soupy. Stir through the parmesan and season to taste with salt and pepper.

6.  To serve: Divide the risotto between four bowls. Top with the roasted cauliflower, a generous sprinkling of almonds and fresh parsley leaves. Serve immediately.