- Food: Cauliflower Rice
- Writer: Nicolas Wilson
- Content-Type: Food Blog
Are you familiar with cauliflower rice? It’s a very adaptable and light side dish.
I was initially suspicious about the notion, but I now believe it has the potential to be fantastic. Today, I’ll show you all of my techniques.
Serve cauliflower rice instead of white or brown rice if you, like me, are craving lighter meals as the weather warms up. It has a comparable texture and a good savory flavor, and it’s made entirely of vegetables!
Cauliflower rice is perfect for filling half of my plate with veggies, something I’ve been trying to do lately.
Cauliflower rice is an art form. If you haven’t enjoyed it before, it was most likely not prepared properly.
In fact, I was dissatisfied with the new cauliflower rice option at my favorite chain burrito spot (you’ve definitely heard of it). It was very salty and overly watery. It has the potential to be so much better.
Here’s a quick rundown on how to make cauliflower rice. This recipe provides delightfully fluffy, lightly seared cauliflower rice and is very easy to make. You’ll also discover how to adapt the recipe to suit a variety of dinners. We’re off!
Notes & Tips
Wringing out extra moisture from cauliflower rice before cooking is the key to superb cauliflower rice.
This allows the “rice” to caramelize in spots, resulting in huge taste boosts. Otherwise, the rice would simply steam in the pan, and we all know how delicious simple steamed vegetables can be (heh).
Because the moisture content of cauliflower varies greatly, this step may or may not appear essential at the time. Believe me, there are moments when you truly need it.
Cauliflower rice is best made in a food processor with the S-blade.
I experimented with shredding the cauliflower rice by hand, in the food processor with the grating attachment, then again in the food processor with the S-blade.
With the S-blade, I was able to get the greatest moisture from the cauliflower rice I cooked.
To make this recipe more quickly and with less mess, use store-bought cauliflower rice.
Fair warning: I smashed the cauliflower no matter how I grated it.
However, cauliflower rice made from scratch tastes better. Frozen cauliflower rice, when properly preserved, appears to be fresher than refrigerated cauliflower rice. In the recipe notes, you’ll find instructions on how to thaw frozen cauliflower rice.
Cauliflower rice cooked on the stovetop tastes better than cauliflower rice roasted in the oven.
I tried baking cauliflower rice in the oven, but the results were disappointing. The rice had lost a lot of volumes and had a peculiar spongey feel by the time it was golden. The rice on the stovetop was tastier, fluffier, and ready faster!
Variations in Recipe
I like to add some fresh herbs and a touch of lemon to my rice to make it fit my dinner. Here are a few recommendations:
A touch of lemon and parsley
This recipe has a Mediterranean or Italian flavor thanks to parsley and lemon. This variant would look fantastic with:
- Crispy Falafel
- Jessica’s Marinated Chickpeas or Carrot and Dill Chickpea Salad
A pinch of lime and cilantro
Mexican and Indian cuisines, as well as Thai curries, benefit from cilantro and lime. This version goes well with:
- Tacos, tostadas, and enchiladas are some of the most popular Mexican dishes.
- Burrito Bowls with Fresh Black Beans
- Green Thai Curry, Red Thai Curry, and Panang Curry
- Quick Chana Masala and Dal Makhani Thai curries.
|15-minute prep time
15 minutes to cook
30 minutes in total
Serving: 4 servings
With this recipe, you can make great cauliflower rice! This low-carb side dish is also vegan and gluten-free. This recipe serves 4 people as a side dish.
- 1 medium-to-large head cauliflower or 16 ounces store-bought cauliflower rice*
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- Optional: 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley or cilantro
- Optional: Squeeze fresh lemon or lime juice
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- If using a head of cauliflower, chop it into medium slices (see photo) and discard the core (if using store-bought, go to the next step). Pulse the chunks in a food processor with the S-blade in batches until they’re broken into tiny bits about the size of couscous. (If you don’t have a food processor, see the recipe notes.)
- Wrap the cauliflower rice in a clean tea towel or paper towels, twist, and squeeze out as much water as you can—you might be amazed by how much water you can press out, or you might not. Cauliflower’s moisture content fluctuates a lot, thus this step guarantees that it cooks evenly.
- Over medium heat, warm the skillet. The olive oil should be added first, followed by the garlic. Cook, stirring constantly, for 10 to 20 seconds, or until the garlic is aromatic. Stir in the cauliflower rice and season with salt.
- Cook, stirring every minute or so, for 6 to 10 minutes, or until the cauliflower rice is heated and turning golden in spots.
- Turn off the heat in the skillet. If using, add the chopped fresh herbs and citrus. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve warm. Cauliflower rice can be stored in the fridge for up to four days. Before serving, gently reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop.
- STORE-BURNED CAULIFLOWER RICE: This dish can be made with fresh or frozen cauliflower rice. Allow the rice to defrost in the refrigerator for several hours if it is frozen. Alternatively, you might thaw the frozen rice in a fine-mesh sieve under cool running water. As instructed in step two, squeeze off any extra water.
- IN THE EVENT THAT YOU DO NOT HAVE A FOOD PROCESSOR: Cauliflower should be quartered evenly. Using a cheese grater with medium holes, grate one quarter at a time.