Cauliflower Piccata with Red Cargo Rice & Roasted Beets

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.


Yesterday, I attended my first acting class with Risa Bramon Garcia.  She has one of the most impressive resumes I have ever seen – casting, directing, producing.  Look at it HERE – and start from the bottom & work up.  Just incredible.   Anyway, it was a terrifying but gratifying afternoon. I only mention this because I wasn’t able to start dinner I got back from class.  This meant starting dinner much later than usual.  This meant I was starving by the time it was done & too impatient to properly photograph it.  So – apologies for the under-documented process & the redundant imagery of the finished product.

Chicken Piccata is one of the dishes I miss most, having given up eating poultry & red meat about 25 years ago.  I like mine very lemony.  Replacing the chicken with cauliflower satisfied me completely.  You could use some sort of seafood option if the cauliflower isn’t substantial enough for you.

The red cargo rice can be replaced by any rice you prefer but here is a little info on the red rice from Wikipedia:

Red Cargo rice is a type of non-glutinous long grain rice, similar to brown rice, in that it is unpolished rice, only the color of the bran is red, purple or maroon. Only the husks of the rice grains are removed during the milling process, retaining all the nutrients, vitamins and minerals intact in the bran layer and in the germ.

Red rice is a good source of thiamin (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2), fibreiron and calcium. The flavor of cooked red cargo rice is generally more sweet and nutty, and the rice is more chewy than standard white polished rice. Red rice takes longer to cook than white rice, but not as long as brown rice. Soaking the rice in water for at least 30 minutes before cooking produces a softer texture.

I love beets!  I find that a great many people who think they hate them do not hate them if they try a home roasted one.  It frustrated me immensely when people dig in their heels & refuse to even try them.   I can’t understand their controversial nature.  I think they should be as broadly accepted as carrots – earthy & sweet.  But they are not.  Maybe due to canned ones & watery, bland ones in shreds on low end salad bars.  Anyway – I love them.  They are robust & delicious & gorgeous & good for you.  If you have never had a home roasted beet – I beg you to try them at least once.

Finally – please forgive my obsession with my food ring.  I just love making little food towers.  I know I make them too often & they have lost their impact but fuck it.  I like them!  🙂





Red Cargo Rice

Basically – cook the rice (or whatever rice you select) according to the directions.  I cooked mine in vegetable stock rather than water & I added 1 TBS of Herbes de Provence.



Roasted Beets

Cut the tops & bottoms off the beets.   Place them on a sheet of foil & drizzle with olive oil & salt. I added about a dozen garlic cloves to the beets because I love roasted garlic.  Wrap the beets up & roast at 400 degrees for about 45 minutes or until tender.  Remove & chop the beets into course chunks.


Cauliflower Piccata


1 large head cauliflower

2 cups vegetable stock

6 cloves garlic (or less) – chopped

4 TBS butter

2 TBS fresh lemon juice

3 TBS capers

3 TBS flour (I used potato flour)

olive oil

S&P to taste

Chopped parsley as garnish


Heat the oven to 375.

Cut the leaves off the cauliflower & cut the head in half.  Try to cut at least one 1/2 inch steak of the thickest part of each half & continue outward until it is all cut.  Place on a baking sheet & drizzle with olive oil & a little salt.  Roast for 20 minutes or so or until the edges start to brown.

While the cauliflower roasts, heat the butter in a sauce pan.  Add the garlic & saute until it softens.  Add the flour & stir to blend.  Saute over medium-high heat until it begins to brown.  Be careful not to burn the butter.  This flour mixture will thicken pretty quickly.  Add the veggie stock in small increments, allowing the sauce to thicken each time.  When all the stock is incorporated, add the lemon & capers.

Serve your cauliflower with the lemon sauce poured over it & plenty of fresh parsley.  Additional lemon wedges are nice so folks can add more lemon if they desire.  The sauce is nice over the rice, too.



One thought on “Cauliflower Piccata with Red Cargo Rice & Roasted Beets

  1. Thanks to your feeding me roasted beets many years ago (when my only formal introduction was that canned grossness my mom used to throw on her iceberg lettuce) I am now a convert. I also want in on that cauliflower picatta business. 😉


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