Apple-Leek Risotto with Roasted Cauliflower

Pull together your favorite cold-weather flavors in this hearty risotto recipe. With buttery sauteed leeks and layers of hard and crunchy apple, it's a clever way to celebrate the chill. Top off each serving with petals of spice-kissed roasted cauliflower for extra interest and crunch too. 

Yield: 4 , Prep time: 15 minutes , Cook time: 15 minutes



1. Prep the cauliflower: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Remove the bottom, quarter, core, and thinly slice. Spread on a cookie sheet, drizzle with olive oil, dust with chili powder, and sprinkle with salt. Toss together so everything is completely covered. Roast in the oven for 10-15 minutes, or until the cauliflower is tender and starting to brown on the edges. Remove from the oven and let cool.
2. Prep your leeks: Remove the lower root, and thinly slice the tender white portion. Place in a bowl with running water and rinse to shake loose any sand between the layers. Remove from the water and pat dry.
3. In a small sauce pot melt 2 Tbsp. butter and add the leeks. Saute on medium-high heat until the leeks are tender, then add the Arborio rice. Coat the rice in the butter and toast for 2 minutes.
4. Next, add your cider to the pot, stir around. Once you can see the bottom of the pan while you are stirring, pour in the chicken broth one cup at a time. Continue stirring and adding more broth each time you can see the bottom of the pot, until the rice is tender.
5. When the rice is finished cooking add the last 2 Tbsp. of butter, season with salt and pepper to taste, and toss in the granny smith apple you finely diced.
6. Serve in a bowl with fresh torn tarragon and roasted cauliflower.

Tips + Tricks

**If you do not have hard cider -- 1 bottle, about 12 oz., or 1 1/2 cups -- on hand, you can always substitute fresh apple cider, or even a splash of brandy in it's place.
**If you have leftovers of this recipe, spread them out onto a cookie sheet and let it chill overnight. Roll into balls, stuff with smoked gouda, three-step bread, and fry into arancini.