Cauliflower 'Rice' with Pesto Recipe
Super healthy and low in calories, this Cauliflower 'Rice' with Pesto is a vibrant side dish bursting with basil, spinach, garlic, lemon and Parmesan flavors.
- 1 large head cauliflower
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup fresh baby spinach
- 3/4 cup basil leaves
- 1/4 to 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt (or to taste)
- 1/2 tsp ground pepper
- 1 tsp lemon zest (or more)
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup lightly toasted pine nuts or walnuts (optional)
- PREPARE AND 'RICE' CAULIFLOWER: Rinse cauliflower and shake off excess water. Cut into quarters and then into florets. Remove all stems. Place half of florets into a food processor and pulse until cauliflower resembles rice. Empty into a skillet. You may still have a couple of florets that didn't chop. Just add them to the next batch. Pulse next batch until all cauliflower is rice-size. Add to skillet. You will have about 4 cups 'rice'.
- MAKE PESTO: In the same processor bowl, add spinach, basil, Parmesan cheese, nuts (if using), garlic, salt, pepper, lemon zest and a bit of the oil (about 2-3 tablespoons). Process until blended. While processor is still on, slowly add remaining oil through feeder tube until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.
- COOK CAULIFLOWER RICE: Heat 1 tablespoon oil and cauliflower in skillet to medium. Cover and cook for 5-10 minutes. This will depend on the size and depth of the pan. Cauliflower should be tender (not mushy) and still have a slight bite to it.
- ADD PESTO AND SERVE: Add about 1/4 to 1/2 cup pesto until you're happy with the taste (reserve any leftovers for pesto crostinis). Stir until well combined and heated through - one to two minutes. Transfer to a serving bowl and top with or pass extra Parmesan, chopped nuts and/or shredded basil leaves.