Cauliflower Risotto with crispy fried sage and roasted butternut squash seed oil

Cauliflower risotto with crispy sage
Creamy Cauliflower risotto with crispy sage makes a hearty fall supper.

I always tell my kids that there is only one item on the menu at suppertime. Like it or lump it, what’s on the table is what you eat. For the most part my no-substitution rule works and my kids clean their plates.

Sometimes though there’s a dish that my husband and I are crazy about but my kids have grown tired of.
So it goes with risotto.
Come fall I make risotto weekly and I make a big batch so we have leftovers for lunch the next day. My kids think it’s ho-hum.
And another thing about risotto, Arborio rice has absolutely no food value. We’re a brown rice family so white Arborio is a bit of a treat. We mostly ignore its empty nutritional profile and serve it with loads of veggies on the side.
Then I discovered a recipe for cauliflower risotto and it has become a solution to all of my problems.
You cook a whole head of cauliflower along with the rice to make a lighter risotto that still tastes authentic and has that irresistibly creamy texture.

Serve it with lightly fried sage on top for a pretty presentation and extra flavour. I like it drizzled with roasted butternut squash seed oil that I buy at LiquidGold.

Cauliflower Risotto with crispy fried sage and roasted butternut squash seed oil

Adapted from Food & Drink magazine

  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 ½ cups Arborio rice
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 1 medium head of cauliflower
  • 8 cups broth
  • Handful of fresh sage leaves
  • About 1 cup fresh grated parmesan, divided
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Drizzle of roasted butternut squash seed oil
  1. Chop the cauliflower into florets and place in a food processor. Pulse until it’s chopped into pieces about twice the size of a grain of rice.
  2. In a large, heavy bottomed pot melt the butter in the oil over medium heat.
  3. Add the onion and saute for a minute then add the garlic.
  4. Add the rice and stir to coat. Stir in the wine. When it has mostly evaporated add the cauliflower along with one cup of the stock.
  5. Continue to stir, and when the stock has mostly evaporated add another cup.
  6. Continue adding broth one cup at a time until rice is creamy and cooked.
  7. Stir in ½ cup of the parmesan, season with salt and pepper.
  8. Serve in shallow bowls drizzled with roasted squash seed oil and top with fried sage and a sprinkling of pink peppercorns.
  9. Pass remaining parmesan.

For the sage:

Saute it in olive oil until lightly crisped.




  1. I had never heard of butternut squash seed oil! That sounds really interesting, and it's always fun to cook with different oils because the flavours really are so different.
    My parents brought us up to eat what they ate. We never had special dinners prepared with different foods than what they ate. If they ate chicken hearts, we ate chicken hearts (and I'm not even kidding, we ate chicken hearts, pan fried with lots of lemon, salt and pepper, and my brother and I loved them). I think it's a good strategy to have 🙂

  2. Bridget that looks delicious! I'm not a cauliflower fan but I would eat that all up for sure.

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  4. Never heard about butternut squash seed oil, but interesting recipe. I love cauliflower. Thank you for sharing.

  5. Chelsea @

    I adore Food & Drink magazine and I've been meaning to make this recipe from the latest issue! If you're looking for a more nutritional substitute for Arborio rice, I've used barley for risotto with success. I've also heard farro can be used, but I haven't tried it myself.

  6. Melanie @ Bon Appet'eat

    Same at my home: eat what is on the table, this is not a restaurant 🙂 We all love cauliflower at home and this risotto sounds delicious. Great recipe!

  7. Risotto is one of those dishes that gets me every time. You toss in what's pretty much my favourite vegetable of all time – cauliflower – and you have yourself a new best friend. Hey, bestie 😉 Seriously though – this looks amazing and absolutely stellar for Fall.

    So stoked to be a part of FBC with you – xo

  8. Sarah | (Cooking for) Kiwi & Bean

    Two new things learned today: cauliflower in risotto (amazing!) and butternut squash oil (yummy…and who knew?). Glad I came by! Definitely making that risotto for my fam…

  9. Hi Janice, Just wait until you try the toasted butternut squash seed oil. It's delicious.

  10. Hi Chelsea, Thanks for the reminder. I have made risotto with faro and barley. Yummy, just not as creamy.

  11. Hi Kristy, I'm hoping you'll be at the conference. If yes, I guess I'll see you next week.


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