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The Perfect Vegan Risotto


In this delicious risotto recipe, I've combined the vibrant flavors of petite green peas, shallot, baby bellas, and a burst of citrusy lemon. With a rich base of vegan butter and white wine, and the aromatic blend of fresh thyme and garlic, this creamy risotto is elevated to new levels of indulgence. Not a mushroom fan? Swap it out for your favorite cooked veggie! Cooking Risotto may seem daunting to some, but it's actually super easy. For a perfect risotto, just remember that patience is a virtue, and slower cooking and stirring wins the blue ribbon. Get ready to savor each spoonful of this comforting dish, perfect for an easy weeknight dinner or a special gathering.


Ingredients:

- 6 cups low-sodium veggie stock

- 2 Tbsp olive oil

- 1 shallot, finely chopped

- 2 Tbsp vegan butter

- 2 cloves garlic, minced

- 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves, minced (dry thyme may be used)

- iodized salt to taste (may substitute sea salt or other)

- fresh ground pepper to taste

- 1 1/2 cups arborio rice (or packaged dry risotto with herbs)

- 1/2 cup white wine

- 1/2 fresh squeezed lemon or 2 Tbsp lemon juice

- 2 Tbsp vegan butter

- 1/8 cup vegetable stock

- 1 to 2 lbs baby bella mushrooms, stemmed and sliced

- 1 cup frozen petite sweet peas, thawed

- 1/4 tsp garlic powder

- 1 tsp lemon juice


Instructions:

  1. Add the veggie stock to a medium pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, remove from heat immediately, cover and set aside.

  2. In a large, deep skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the shallot. Cook, stirring frequently, until shallot is translucent.

  3. Add a small amount (about 1/8 cup) of veggie stock to prevent sticking while sautéing.

  4. Add the garlic, thyme, salt and pepper and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the arborio rice and toss continuously to toast it over medium heat for 1 minute.

  5. Add the white wine and lemon juice, reduce to low heat, and cook until evaporated, stirring constantly to prevent sticking.

  6. Add 2 cups of the warm veggie stock and stir to combine all ingredients.

  7. While the rice is cooking in the stock, heat a separate, small skillet and add 2 Tbsp vegan butter and 1/8 cup veggie stock.

  8. Add the mushrooms and peas, garlic powder and 1 tsp lemon juice to the skillet and sauté until mushrooms and peas are slightly soft. Sprinkle in salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat, cover and set aside to keep warm.

  9. In the large skillet, over low heat, continue to add the warm veggie stock, 1/2 cup at a time. (This is where patience comes in!)

  10. Stir the rice and ingredients in the stock until it is fully absorbed. Then continue to add veggie stock a half-cup at a time, cover and stir often until the rice is fully cooked and has absorbed the stock. This usually takes anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the heat level you use. (You may have stock left over. Using all of it is not required, but be sure to test the rice for doneness and add more stock and cook longer if needed.)

  11. Taste the rice to determine when it's done to your liking -- some folks prefer al dente; I like mine on the fully-cooked side.

  12. Spread your cooked Risotto into wide bowls or onto plates. Top each bowl of risotto with the cooked mushrooms and peas and enjoy!

Notes:

  1. I like to cook my arborio rice over low heat to get a creamier consistency when it's done. Cooking over higher heat requires more stock and more stirring.

  2. Cooking over low heat and covering your rice between stirring will help to create a delicious and creamy consistency.

  3. If needed, don't hesitate to re-heat the mushrooms and peas just before topping them onto your cooked risotto.

Buon Appetito!

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