Chopped, with its unconventionally combined ingredients, is all about the chefs’ creativity and out-of-the-box thinking. And this Chopped Dinner Challenge recipe for Oat Risotto with Roasted Cauliflower is certainly a dish that requires a degree of inventiveness. Because in this risotto, there isn’t any actual risotto involved. The Food Network Kitchen chefs selected steel cut oats as the basket ingredient to substitute the main ingredient — rice — and, no, they aren’t cooking up breakfast. The steel cut oats, fused with chicken broth, white wine, pungent garlic, parsley and Parmesan, serve as the perfect complement to the crisp, lightly seasoned roasted cauliflower.
The cauliflower should be tackled first. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and then cut up the cauliflower. Mix the cut-up vegetables with 2 tablespoons oil, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper, then lay the pieces out on a baking sheet. Roast them for about 45 minutes, or until golden.
Then it’s on to the broth. Mix the chicken broth with 1 cup water and heat until it’s simmering. Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a heavy saucepan on medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, you can add in the garlic, onions, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper; cook the concoction for about 8 minutes. Once it’s soft, add in the oats and wine and then boil it till it’s reduced by half.
Take the broth and stir it in 1 cup at a time. When half of the mix is evaporated, add more. Stir for approximately 30 to 45 minutes until the oats are tender, and make sure to use all of the broth. Once that’s done, mix in the Parmesan, parsley and butter. Season the risotto with salt and pepper, and top with the roasted cauliflower and additional parsley.
Get the recipe: Oat Risotto with Roasted Cauliflower
The Chopped Dinner Challenge is a series of recipes showing you how easy it is to cook like a winning Chopped competitor. Every week, FN Dish will showcase a recipe created by Food Network Kitchen that uses at least one of the Chopped basket ingredients, plus basic grocery goods and simple staples. Consider it your very own Chopped challenge. Just take this frequent tip from the judges: Don’t forget to season!