UWYHC Day 2: Vegetarian Risotto

My son has been begging for this dish since I made it a month ago.  He doesn’t remember I made it last year.  It must not have been impressive the first go-round.

For one reason or another I kept putting it off over the last couple weeks—visiting family and friends, school open house, etc.  Basically, too many nights away from home.  Since I had recently stocked up on whole grains, I finally had arborio rice and the time to make it.

This dish is simple and easy, but takes about an hour.  The longest part is adding the liquid in increments of 1/2 a cup.  Though it is worth it!

And not just because I can imbibe on the white wine while stirring.  There’s something satisfying about making a meal from scratch that your family loves.  It’s one of our favorites; I hope it becomes one of yours too.

Pour the olive oil in a large pot and allow to heat briefly over medium heat while you chop the onion.  Add the onion to the olive oil and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Add the risotto and toss to coat with oil.

Add dry white wine.  I used a Chardonnay, but you could use any dry white (Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio) or even a sweet white (Riesling, Moscato) in a pinch.

Next, you’ll pour in the first addition of broth.  Remember I told you this dish is easy but takes time.  Have on your comfy shoes or better yet, get one of those fancy gel mats that’s supposed to relieve the pressure on your back and feet.  This baby is on my wish list for Christmas.

Back to the broth: you want to be sure to stir it occasionally and allow the broth to absorb before adding the next 1/2 cup of broth.  Traditional risotto calls for chicken stock; I used vegetable broth instead.

Here’s what it should look like after it has absorbed the first round of broth.

By the way, it’s a good idea to use a large measuring cup so you’re not constantly measuring and pouring.  I use this handy device.

This is the rice after the last addition of broth has been absorbed.  You can see how creamy it is.

Take the rice off the heat to stir in the parmesan cheese and butter substitute.  I used Earth Balance Natural Buttery Spread made with olive oil.  It’s gluten free, lactose free, vegan and non-GMO.  No, it’s not taste free.

It’s actually pretty good and creamy just like butter.  My sweet girl says this dish is like mac ‘n cheese but with rice. I have yet to find a non-dairy parmesan cheese otherwise this meal would be considered vegan.

Don’t you like my fancy dipper?

After you try the vegetarian risotto, mix it up by adding other star ingredients.  Don’t forget the wine!  Here are a few other recipes.

Vegetarian Risotto

  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 cup of chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup of white wine
  • 1 cup of Arborio rice (it’s not true risotto without this)
  • 4 1/2 cups of vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan
  • 1 Tbsp. butter or butter substitute

Heat the oil over medium heat, then add the chopped onion and cook for 2 -3 minutes until soft.  Add the risotto and toss to coat with the oil.

Add the wine and cook til fully absorbed.  Begin to add the vegetable broth 1/2 a cup at a time.  Only add the next 1/2 cup after each addition is completely absorbed.

Remove from heat; add the butter and Parmesan, stir.  Serve immediately.

Yields six 1/2 cup servings.

Mangia!

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