Cauliflower Risotto with Anchovy Crumbs

Cauliflower Risotto

Been away for Christmas seeing the Lake District, it was my first visit and I have to say I fell more than a little in love with the place, it is just beautiful even covered in a foot of snow.

Of course we had Turkey for Christmas dinner , I love the leftovers from a large bird , and as with any  roast , one of the best leftovers is stock,  which I made and froze on Boxing day, having stripped the bird.

But not wanting to fill the freezer on our return I decided on risotto . My vegebox is looking a little sparse other than the ubiquitous cauliflower, and a perfect time to try out a recipe by Jamie Oliver for a Cauliflower Risotto with Anchovy Crumbs.

The risotto was delicious, but the real revelation was the anchovy crumbs , very unami and I now want to eat them on everything , thinking baked potatoes, macaroni cheese. Tip from LBFs Mum,   you can do something vegetarian but unami by replacing the anchovies with dried porcini mushrooms , you will need to add some drops of olive oil though.

anchovy crumbs

Cauliflower Risotto with Anchovy Crumbs

To serve two

1 cauliflower cored and cut into 1/2cm tiny pieces
200g of risotto rice
1.5 pints of chicken/vegetable stock – I used leftover Turkey stock
1 tbsp of butter
1 medium onion finely chopped
2 garlic cloves finely chopped
2 tbsp of fresh parsley finely chopped
2 tbsp of grated Parmesan

Anchovy Crumbs
2 handfuls of stale bread, torn into pieces
1 small tin of anchovies, oil from tin reserved
1 tbsp of dried chilli flakes

  1. Fry the garlic and onion in the butter , but do not allow to colour
  2. Add the risotto rice , stir to coat well in the butter for about a minute
  3. Heat the stock with the cauliflower in until simmering
  4. Add 1/4 of stock to the rice until absorbed add the rest of the stock in ladles full stirring continuously
  5. Finely stir in the cauliflower , parsley & parmesan

To make the anchovy crumbs

  1. Place the bread in the food processor with the anchovies including the oil , pulse until crumbs
  2. Fry in a hot pan until golden brown , add the chilli flakes


  1. I’ve made Jamie’s cauliflower risotto before and replaced the anchovies with capers. Which in my long-term vegetarian brain have a similar-ish taste to anchovies? Possibly not, but it’s a long-time since I’ve had anchovies, so it’s hard to remember . . .

    Anyway, it’s a fabulous risotto. And you’re right that it’s the fried breadcrumb topping which makes the dish. Turns something which would otherwise be a bit bland into a meal of flavour and contrasts.

    I haven’t made it for ages, so thanks for reminding me and I’m going to try your porcini suggestion.

  2. Hi Becky..truly awesome recipe…loving the site!
    I have linked to you from my site (Hope that’s ok)

    I cannot wait to make some Anchovy Crumbs…superb!


  3. I made this (and I used an orange cauliflower), it was fabulous, the anchovy crumbs are a revelation! I was too impatient to wait for stale bread (couldn’t even be bothered to lightly toast it), and next time I WILL use stale, hard, dry bread–although I wonder if the anchovy oil will counteract the dryness anyway (it got a little gummy during the processing, but persistent rurring triumphed).

    Now–on to Jerusalem Artichoke Leek gratin! Keep ’em coming! Every one of your recipes that I’ve tried has been a complete success.

  4. Had this tonight – loved the anchovy and breadcrumbs before and after cooking – it’s amazing how much the flavour changes. Put only a tsp of crushed dried red chillies in and it was quite hot which was great. Had a mixture of breadcrumbs – some from sour dough and panko which gave different textures.

    Cauliflower risotto was lovely – such light flavours. Beautiful mix of tastes. Will definitely be doing it again.

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