The author of “The Garden of Earthly Delights Cookbook: Gourmet Vegetarian Cooking” seems to have an odd obsession with vermouth. Almost every single recipe in the book calls for it. I am not a huge fan of vermouth so I’ve been trying one of the many suggested substitutes on the internet for it. This time I tried apple juice. It’s supposed to mimic the sweetness of vermouth. However, if you don’t have apple juice you can use a regular old broth. Vegetable broth would be great for this, or if you’re a carnivore I think you’d be best to use chicken broth. Either would work. To expedite the cooking process, make the rice the night before or plan this dish when you have some leftover brown rice burning a hole in your fridge from a previous night’s meal. I would use this as a main course (as it was for us the other night) or alongside something else in a bigger meal. It might complement a grilled chicken breast quite nicely, or some Asian-inspired baked tofu. In any case, the addition of the rice makes it quite filling.
Cauliflower Fried Rice
1 medium cauliflower, broken into florets
1/4 cup apple juice
1/4 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon agave nectar
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon dried red chile flakes
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
6 scallions, chopped
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and sliced thin
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
2 cups cooked brown rice, cooled
1. Combine the apple juice, soy sauce, agave nectar, sesame oil, and red chile flakes in a small bowl. Mix well and set aside.
2. Heat the oil on low-medium heat in a large skillet or wok and add the scallions, ginger, and garlic. Sauté 2 minutes then add bell pepper strips and sauté another 2 minutes.
3. Add the cauliflower and 1/2 cup water. Cover and simmer till the cauliflower is just about tender, stirring occasionally.
4. Add the brown rice and apple juice mixture and stir well to combine.
5. Turn the heat up to medium and fry till the vegetables are all tender. Make sure to stir frequently so the rice doesn’t stick and burn.
6. Serve hot, sprinkled with sesame seeds. Add salt and pepper to taste if you need to check the seasoning.