Sunday, January 13, 2013

Vegan Mushroom and Asparagus Risotto

 Last night I made a vegan mushroom and asparagus risotto.  I hadn't planned on blogging it yet because it was my very first attempt at making a risotto - a dish responsible for the downfall of many competitive cooking show contestants.  It seems like every time someone says they're going to make a risotto on one of those shows, you hear a canned gasp, the camera cuts to a shot of concerned judges and a competitor is shown in an interview saying that that person is insane to attempt making a risotto when the stakes are so high.

I was wondering what I was getting myself into.  Luckily for me, there were no judges - just the hungry hubby.  :)

I have to say, it was really good!  It took a bit more babysitting than most things I make, but the result was worth it.  It had a nice creamy texture despite being dairy free!  That said, I'm sure the addition of some fresh grated parm wouldn't go amiss.

Tip: When trimming asparagus, just bend a stalk and it will naturally snap where it's supposed to!

1 Tbs olive oil
2 c. organic brown short-grain rice
4 c. vegetable broth
4 c. water
2 Tbs vegan butter substitute, divided
1 yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, sliced
2 tps rubbed sage
1 tsp Northwoods seasoning (or 1/2 tsp paprika)
1 pkg sliced baby bella mushrooms
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and chopped into bite-sized pieces

1. Heat 1 Tbs of olive oil in a deep skillet over medium heat.  Add a generous pinch of the chopped onion and cook until starting to brown.

2. Add the rice and mix until well coated.  Cook for 1 or 2 minutes, until the rice is less translucent and more opaque.

3. Stir in 1 cup of the broth and cook over med-high heat until it's absorbed, stirring frequently.  Repeat this step with the broth and then the water until the rice is cooked through and creamy.

- Meanwhile -

 4. Heat 1 Tbs of vegan butter substitute over medium heat.  Toss in the remaining onions, garlic and sage and cook until starting to brown.  Add the asparagus and cook until it turns a beautiful, bright green.

5. Add in the mushroom and cook until they release their liquid.  Add a dash of balsamic vinegar and deglaze  the pan.  Set aside and keep warm.

6. When the rice is just about done, stir in 1 Tbs. of vegan butter and then mix in the veggie mixture. Cook until the rice is done and the veggies are heated through, about 3 minutes. Salt to taste and enjoy!!

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