I used to make risotto all the time before I adopted a vegan diet. But I was very leery of how much I’d enjoy a vegan risotto. No butter? No cheese? Turns out it’s no problem. This version is flavourful, creamy and vegan. If you have 30 minutes you have time to make this dish and wow yourself and a friend.
Making risotto is a bit of an exercise in faith. You just have to believe it’s going to work because halfway through the process, the pan will look like a messy failure. But it always turns out.
This recipe makes 2 generous servings or 3 appetizer size servings.
1 cup Arborio rice (must be Arborio rice)
3 cups vegetable broth
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp vegan margarine
1 shallot finely minced (or 1 clove garlic minced and ½ onion minced)
1/3 cup (or so) of dry white wine
3 cups of mushrooms – I used a mix of white and cremini) sliced
½ cup fresh or frozen peas. If using frozen, thaw the peas.
1-2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1 green onion or 6 chives chopped (optional)
2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
1/2 to 1 tsp ground black pepper
Truffle oil and chopped pecans for garnish (optional)
Heat the broth in a saucepan so it’s at a low simmer.
In a large frying pan or skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the mushrooms and sauté until they release their liquid and are browned. Put the mushrooms in the pot of broth.
In the same pan you fried the mushrooms in,melt the vegan margarine. Add the shallot (or onion and garlic, if that’s what you’re using) and sauté until translucent.
Add the rice and stir until it’s coated with the margarine and shallots and turning a light golden colour.
Add the white wine and stir together.
Now the magic. This step will take about 20 minutes.
One ladle at a time (about ½ cup), add broth to the pan of rice. Try to just add broth and not the mushrooms.
Stir the rice until the broth is all absorbed by the rice. At first the rice will quickly absorb the broth and at the same time it will release its starch, creating a creamy base. As the rice cooks, the broth will absorb more and more slowly. Patience. Listen to music. Ladle. Stir. Ladle. Stir.
In about 20 minutes your rice will be done and all your broth should be used up. The rice will be al dente.
Add the mushrooms you reserved in the broth, the peas, the chives/green onion, pepper and nutritional yeast and stir together.
I garnished my risotto with truffle oil and some chopped pecans.
SUGGESTION: If you have never tried truffle oil, I highly recommend it for a touch of richness and decadence. Yes, the oil is pricey. BUT you can buy a very small bottle and it will last about 18 months, if you keep it at room temperature out of the light. Only a teaspoon on a dish like this will have you feeling like a gourmet chef!