Asparagus Risotto: Vegan, Relaxing
- December 2011
Most of my dinner recipes aren’t really recipes, they are more like tactics. Which is to say, you can take the general concept and change it into different things depending on what you feel like or happen to have in the fridge. This risotto tactic is for an asparagus flavor, but you can do the same thing with mushrooms, roasted red peppers, roasted carrots, broccoli, leeks, or whatever you like.
When I made this particular one, I decided to roast some brussels sprouts and add them in at the end too, and it was very good!
You should make this not because you want to eat risotto, but because you want to MAKE risotto. If you feel like spending an hour by yourself or with a friend, this is the perfect way to unwind. Get a bottle of red wine, and enjoy 🙂
This will make delicious comfort food for three or four (or two with leftovers).
1 1/2 pounds asparagus, trimmed, tips cut off and set aside
5 cups hot water and 2 cubes vegan bouillon
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium shallots, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups arborio rice
1/3 cup dry white wine or sherry
1 tablespoon Earth Balance margarine
Freshly ground pepper
bottle of good red wine, to drink while stirring risotto
Cook the asparagus tips in a medium saucepan of boiling salted water until just tender, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, take them out and put them in a bowl.
Chop the stalks into 2 inch pieces. Add them to the boiling water and cook until very tender, about 10 minutes.
Reserve 1 1/2 cup of the cooking water, then drain the stalks. Use a stick blender to blend the stalks and the water into a puree.
(You can make the puree with anything you want: mushrooms, broccoli, roasted red pepper….)
Add the cubes of vegan bouillon to the 5 cups of boiling water and dissolve.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large, heavy saucepan. Add the shallots and cook over low heat, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, until softened but not browned, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until the shallots are lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Add the rice and stir over moderate heat to coat the grains with the oil. Pour in the wine and continue stirring until the wine is almost evaporated, about 2 minutes.
Add 1 cup of the bouillon and stir constantly until almost absorbed. Continue adding the stock, 1 cup at a time, stirring constantly until it is absorbed before adding more. When the rice is almost tender, after about 15 minutes, add the asparagus puree. Continue to cook, stirring, until the rice is tender but still firm to the bite. Stir in more water, if you need to. This could take 5 minutes, it could take 20….that’s why we’re making risotto. Drink wine.
Add the asparagus tips and stir for 1 minute to heat through (and roasted brussels sprouts if you did that).
Remove the risotto from the heat and stir in the Earth Balance. Season with salt and pepper and let stand for 2 minutes. If you have any red wine left, serve it with the risotto.