Before I had ever tried making risotto, I had an idea that it was very challenging and only for experienced cooks. I don’t know where I got that idea, but it was wrong. Making rich, flavourful risotto is actually very easy; all it takes is some patience and a willingness to babysit the pan for a while. It’s a great dish to prepare while working on something on the counter, like making a big salad. You stir the risotto, you chop some veggies, stir, chop, stir, chop, etc.
If you haven’t made risotto before, try this recipe. It’s easy and so delicious, you’ll be hooked. I can practically guarantee you’ll start making it (and trying variations) regularly.
Important: You need to get Arborio rice in order to make risotto. Don’t bother trying it with any other type of rice; it’ll end in heartache!
Yield: About 4-5 cups of risotto; 4-6 servings
- 4 cups vegetable stock (you’ll end up using between 3 and 4 cups)
- 5 large portobello mushrooms, chopped into 1 inch pieces
- 1.5 cups finely chopped onion
- 1 cup Arborio rice (it won’t work with other types of rice!)
- ½ cup red wine (or you can use white)
- 1 tablespoon vegan parmesan (optional)
Heat some oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add mushrooms. While the mushrooms are cooking, put the vegetable stock in a pot over high heat. Just before it boils, turn off the heat but leave the pot on the hot burner to keep the stock very warm. Cook the mushrooms, stirring occasionally, until they are done: tender and juicy. Remove from pan and set aside.
Add a bit more oil to the pan if necessary and then add the onions. Stir and cook until they are translucent. Reduce heat to just below medium and add the dry rice. Brown the rice a bit, being sure to keep scraping the pan to prevent it from sticking. Add the wine, and stir the rice until the wine is absorbed (this will happen pretty quickly).
Begin adding the warm broth to the rice, one ladle at a time. Stir frequently, and as soon as the rice starts to stick, add another ladle of broth. Continue this process until the rice is cooked al dente. (Probably between 15 and 25 minutes).
Add the mushrooms to the rice and mix well to incorporate. If you have any vegan parmesan on hand, add some of that too. Serve warm with a salad for a hearty and delicious dinner.
Note: You could substitute lots of other veggies for the mushrooms. Try asparagus! Gently steam it until just done, and add it back to the risotto at the end.