Straight-up cauliflower rice does not appeal to me. I love using veggies for grains when possible (even in more unusual dishes like Squash Breakfast Porridge and Bread-Free Stuffing). But I prefer my cauliflower rice heavily doctored, to make it satisfying and flavorful.
This recipe uses rich, umami flavors, bright herbs, sweet peas, and crunchy pistachios to make a beautiful cauliflower pilaf.
About the ingredients in cauliflower pilaf
Frozen peas add their natural sweetness and bright color to the dish. I always have a bag of frozen peas in the freezer for this dish… or as an instant ice-pack.
Tamari sauce or coconut aminos add the depth and saltiness associated with soy sauce. Coconut aminos are slightly sweeter and less salty, so that’s why the recipe calls different amounts depending on which option you choose.
Pistachios or cashews add needed crunch to the dish. You can substitute any toasted nut or seed. I’ve also topped this dish with tamari-roasted sunflower seeds sold at my health food store… that is phenomenal.
- 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
- 3 Tbs. coconut oil, olive oil, or avocado oil
- 2 small shallots, diced
- ½ cup sliced shiitake or button mushrooms
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tsp. tamari sauce or 1 Tbs. coconut aminos,available here
- 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
- ½ cup frozen green peas
- 3 Tbs. chopped mint
- Juice of ½ lemon
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- ¼ cup chopped pistachios or toasted cashews
- First, make cauliflower rice by pulsing the cauliflower florets in a blender or food processor until it resembles rice-sized crumbles. (I use a Ninja blender, which offers high performance at a lower price tag than a vitamix.)
- Heat the oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add the shallots and mushrooms. Cook, stirring occasionally, for a few minutes until tender. Add the garlic and cook briefly.
- Add the cauliflower rice and stir to coat with oil. Cook time will depend on the size of the cauliflower crumbles, so cook until it has a tender but firm texture.
- Toss in the tamari (or aminos), vinegar, peas, salt, and pepper. The peas will take just about a minute to warm through. Then add in the mint and lemon juice. Top with chopped nuts, if desired, and enjoy.