A while back (yes, WAY before COVID hit), I had some work friends over for Shabbat dinner. And before you ask, yes, indeed, they wanted to come enjoy Shabbat with us! So of course I had to spend time putting together a great menu. And my cauliflower rice with coconut milk and lime came to the forefront of my mind. This rice dish is more of a risotto since the coconut milk gives it a rich and creamy base to soak up all of the cauliflower rice and the lime adds a pop of acidity and a brightness of flavor.
But, when I was gifted a copy of Adeena Sussman’s new cookbook “Sababa“, which I am completely obsessed with, I got a TON of inspiration from all of her totally approachable recipes for modern Israeli food. And no, I am not getting paid to promote her book, I just love it THAT much. But it was her love of sumac made me think, “why not add in some sumac into my cauliflower risotto? That’ll be a great addition with the acidity of the lime – plus it’ll look pretty in the dish”. And there ya, go, the dish was born.
Sumac is a fuchsia-colored (sometimes dark reddish) powdered spice that comes from the crushed seeds of the sumac shrub. It’s used primarily in Middle Eastern dishes and has a distinctly tart, lemony flavor. If you’re ever in the Shuk market anywhere in Israel, you’ll see heaping mounds of Sumac alongside many other spices, piled high into enormous peaks – a truly memorable experience!
Whether you’re trying to cut back on carbs or want a lighter side dish to serve alongside chicken or fish, this cauliflower risotto with lime and sumac would pair perfectly and it comes to together so quickly, in under 30 minutes.
I also added sliced green onions and pomegranate seeds on top, not only for a pretty garnish but the sharpness of the green onions balances with the sweetness of the pomegranate and it all just works so well together. But feel free to experiment! Try sliced toasted almonds, or some sliced dried apricots. Once the dish is complete, I always add one last extra squeeze of lime, just to brighten up all of the flavors and marry everything together for the perfect bite.
Or…you could do a total 180 and make this a sweet dish! Adding some sugar and cinnamon to the cauliflower rice and coconut milk or even garnishing with sliced almonds and chocolate chips. WUT?? It’s basically a coconut chocolate rice pudding. BAM. Now THAT is what I love about using versatile ingredients like cauliflower and coconut! And honestly, using the cauliflower won’t be too overpowering, if you add sugar and some cinnamon and vanilla extract. You know me, I’m always encouraging ya’ll to experiment and play with your food in the kitchen.
Enjoy, stay safe and happy eating!
- 1 12 oz Bag of Frozen Cauliflower rice, thawed I love using the Trader Joe's brand - I keep a bunch stocked in my freezer!
- 1 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 13.5 oz Can of Full-fat Coconut Milk Same thing here - I keep a bunch in my pantry. I also love Trader Joe's brand
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 1/4 tsp Pepper
- 1/4 tsp Dried Sumac
- 1 Lime, with zest and juice
- 3 Green onions, sliced thinly
- 3-4 tbsp Pomegranate seeds Add more if you like, this is just about a handful
Heat a large saute pan with a small drizzle of olive oil
Add the cauliflower rice and the coconut milk (add both the milk and the coconut cream that collects on the top of the can) on medium heat.cook for about 15-20 minutes until thick and creamy
Add in the salt, pepper, sumac and lime zest and juice and cook for about 15-20 minutes until thick and creamy
Garnish with sliced green onions and pomegranate seeds