Cauliflower “rice” with barley and shaved brussels sprouts
I wonder who was the cook who first came up with the idea of cauliflower “rice”. Since they “invented” it, the concept has spread like wildfire in kitchens around the world and for good reasons. It’s a simple and delicious way to serve cauliflower and can easily replace rice if you are a no-carb person, which, let me clarify, I AM NOT. I love carbs.
I prefer to chop the cauli in a food processor into small bits but careful not to over process, you still want some texture. I find that if I don’t overload the processor with florets, it works just fine. Two or three batches will be enough to “rice” a head of cauli. If you prefer you can use a large hole grater but why? it’s much easier in a food processor.
Once “riced” you can saute the cauli, as you would already cooked rice, and treat it like rice in a pilaf. You can also boil it if you wish, but very briefly, or, as I prefer, roast it in a 400F oven with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. I read that you can even microwave it with good results but haven’t done it that way yet.
Epicurious has an article in which they compare cooking methods for cauliflower rice, in case you are interested.
For this dish I roasted the cauli “rice, then mixed it with already cooked pearl barley and shredded brussels sprouts. I gave everything a quick turn in a skillet with olive oil, salt and pepper and for me this was enough. If you wish you can add seasoning to spice it up more: a little cumin, coriander, chili or turmeric if you want to make it yellow or just a little hot sauce at the end.
To add texture you can toss in a few chopped nuts.
So, you think you’d make it? Let me know.
1 cup barley
2 cups brussels sprouts, shredded or leaves separated
Salt and pepper
Additional seasoning optional: cumin, coriander
Dried cranberries softened in a little boiling water, optional
Separate the cauliflower into florets and process in a food processor in batches until the cauliflower is chopped into small pieces resembling rice.
Place cauliflower rice on a foil lined baking sheet, drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil, add salt and pepper and toss to coat.
Roast in a 400F oven for 20 minutes or so, until cauli is cooked through and just beginning to colour a bit. Remove from oven.
While cauli os roasting rinse the barley, place in a pot, cover with plenty of water and bring to a boil. Lower heat and cook, partially covered, until the barley grains are cooked through. Drain well.
Shred the brussels sprouts on a mandolin or with a knife. I first remove the larger outer leaves and keep them whole, and then shred the rest.
Place 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet, add the brussels sprouts and toss until bright green, a couple fo minutes.
Add the cauli rice and barley and toss together until heated through.
Add softened cranberries (drained).
Taste and add salt and pepper and other seasoning as you wish.
Spoon into bowls and serve warm.