Oven-Dried Cauliflower, Corn, and Red Pepper Risotto


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves

    6 to 8

Appears in

Cooking One on One

Cooking One on One

By John Ash

Published 2004

  • About

Roasted cauliflower was an epiphany to me the first time I had it—so much better than boiled. You can get different results with the cauliflower by oven-drying it slowly at low temperature (250°F.) or roasting quickly under high heat (425°F.). Slow roasting seems to bring out the sweetness in the vegetable, while hot roasting adds a toastiness.


  • 4 medium ears oven-dried corn
  • 1 small (1 pound) oven-dried cauliflower
  • 2 medium oven-dried red peppers
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup finely minced white onions
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 cups Arborio rice
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 5 to 6 cups homemade chicken or vegetable stock or your favorite canned broth
  • ½ cup pitted and sliced green or black olives
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
  • ½ cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese, plus extra for serving


Cut the Corn off the ears, and chop the cauliflower and peppers into small pieces. Set aside. Heat the olive oil in a large deep saucepan and add the onions and garlic. Sauté over medium heat until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the rice and stir, coating the rice grains with the oil, and sauté for another couple of minutes. The grains will turn opaque and “click” against the side of the pan.

Add the wine and cook, stirring, until it is absorbed. Add the hot stock in ½-cup increments, stirring until the liquid is almost all absorbed. Continue until the rice is done—that is, each grain is soft and creamy on the outside but still has a little firmness or “bite” in the center. This will take 15 to 18 minutes. Stir the oven-dried vegetables into the rice, along with the olives, zest, basil, and parsley, and warm through. Stir in the cheese and serve. Shallow warm bowls work nicely topped with additional cheese and a drizzle of basil oil, if you have some.


If you like with basil oil (available in gourmet stores)