Spring Vegetable Risotto
Let me just say right away that this is a meal that requires you to stand at your stove for 30 minutes stirring your pan. BUT DON'T LEAVE YET! I can PROMISE you it will be so worth it. I had never tried risotto prior to adopting a plant-based diet but it quickly became a staple in our house. In fact, my sister who is not vegan, requests this meal the most! So you know it will be a crowd-pleaser for vegans and non-vegans, alike!
After a few times of making risotto, I noticed on the box instructions for how to microwave risotto. DON'T MICROWAVE YOUR RISOTTO. Yes it will shorten the cooking time and probably make things a tad easier but just don't. Say no. Resist the urge. The microwave cannot do what your love and attention can do. Seriously.
This is also not a difficult meal to make and it makes a TON of food, enough for 7-8 people so either you'll have delicious leftovers all week long (Arancini, anyone?!) or you will have 7-8 people singing your praises. That's what I like to call a win-win situation, folks.
I recently made this for a dinner I hosted for non-vegans and everybody loved it. I made a cucumber bruschetta with cucumbers, tomatoes, and basil from our garden, this lovely risotto, a strawberry-lemon-mint infused water, and healthy chocolate cupcakes from the wonderful Feasting on Fruit.
Lastly, use whatever veggies tickle your fancy! This can be customized to fit your liking and also changed up with the seasons. Some butternut squash and brussels sprouts would be amazing in the fall and adding some summer squash and corn sounds delicious for a refreshing summer meal!
Spring Vegetable Risotto
- 2 Cups Arborio rice
- 8 Cups Vegetable Broth
- 1 Cup White Wine
- 1/2 Cup Onion, diced
- 2-3 Cloves Garlic, diced
- 2 TBS Butter, I use Earth Balance
- 1 TBS Olive Oil
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Zest of 1-2 lemons
- 1 lb Green Beans
- 1 Bunch Asparagus (about 8-10 stalks)
- 1 1/2 Cups fresh peas (or frozen, defrosted)
- Salt and Pepper (you will be tasting and seasoning throughout!)
1. In a large pan, add your butter and olive oil over medium heat. Once butter is melted, add your onion and saute until translucent.
2. Add garlic and saute for another minute.
3. Add your rice and saute for 2-3 minutes until it also begins to look translucent.
4. Add your wine. Continue to stir until most of the liquid is absorbed. Important: Continuously stirring is key when making your risotto. Do not let it stick to your pan-this is not paella!
5. After your wine is absorbed you will add 1 cup to 1 1/2 cups of broth at a time. Once absorbed, add more broth, and so on and so forth. Season with salt and pepper and taste throughout.
6. Once you've added about 6 cups of broth you'll add your fresh veggies! Continue stirring and adding broth until the rice is cooked through, but not mushy, and the veggies are tender but still crisp! This will be the last 5-7 or so minutes of cooking.
7. Add your lemon juice and zest of one lemon. Combine.
8. Before serving, taste and season again if necessary. Sprinkle with more lemon zest and cashew Parmesan, if desired.