The Flaming Vegan

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Creamy Asparagus Risotto
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Creamy Asparagus Risotto

I adore risotto, and I am sure you will agree it is a godsend to us vegans (especially when eating out in restaurants, etc. I expect you, like me, have found that it is quite often the only meatless dish on the menu, and it is vegan if you get them to hold the cheese!). It is also nice alternative to pasta, and suitable for coeliacs, besides being easy to cook and requiring relatively few ingredients. This risotto is especially rich and creamy-tasting, with the addition of asparagus and white wine, and naturally it is important to use the proper risotto rice (I usually use Arborio). If you don't have vegan parmesan, you could also use vegan mozzarella, which I think would work equally well.

Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • 1 lb/500 g asparagus, trimmed
  • 1 pinch of sugar
  • 2 tbsp vegan margarine, divided
  • 1 shallot, finely diced
  • 2 cups/400g risotto rice, i.e. Arborio or carnaroli
  • 2 cups/500 ml of vegetable stock
  • 1 cup/250 ml dry white wine
  •  2/3 cup/60 g vegan parmesan, grated, plus additional for sprinkling
  • Salt and black or white pepper to taste


1) Cut off the tips from the asparagus and reserve. Thinly slice the stalks.

2) To cook the asparagus tips, bring ½ cup/200 ml water, the sugar and a pinch of salt to boil in a saucepan. Drop in the asparagus tips and cook for about 5 minutes, until al dente. Remove from the pan, reserving the cooking liquid, and transfer to a colander under cold running water to stop them cooking any further; set aside.

3) Heat 1 tablespoon of the vegan margarine in a deep skillet until it foams, then add the asparagus slices and shallot and sauté until tender. Add the rice, stir well and sauté briefly.

4) Mix the wine with the reserved asparagus water and vegetable stock and pour 2 ladlefuls of the mixture onto the rice and cook over a medium heat, stirring, until it has been absorbed. Continue to add the stock this way, allowing the last ladleful to be absorbed before adding the next and stirring frequently.

5) When the rice is cooked, but still firm in the centre, carefully stir in the asparagus tips, the remaining vegan margarine and the Parmesan, or other cheese.

6) Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve on warmed plates sprinkled with Parmesan.

Enjoy, and let me know what you think! 


*Image courtesy Flickr creative commons.

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  1. Carolyn
    Vote #2! You could definitely use vegan cheese.
  2. BuddhasDelight
    this has kristin written all over it! i heart risotto and asparagus, couldn't ask for more! :) thanks and voted!
  3. kristo
    voted! I also adore risotto! My Nonna makes asparagus risotto, the wine is key! YUMMMMMMM!!!!
  4. Shabs Online
    Shabs Online
    Vote #5 ........great recipe....rele mus b veri tasty... :P Vegan cheese....sounds interesting....can I make it at home?
    1. Veganara
      Thank you for the votes and comments, everyone! @ Shabs, actually I have blogged about making your own vegan cheese before, have a look at my previous article A Cheesy Subject! It is a couple of recipes for ricotta-style cheese though, if you are interested in that. I don't know how to make the vegan alternative to "hard" cheese, I must research that, then I can blog about that too! I believe some people do it at home, but it requires a lot of steps, involving pressing and straining, etc. Watch this space anwyay!
  5. Roopam
    Thats a nice choice of using asparagus for risotto...must taste yummm...voted!
  6. SnakeWitch
    Hmmm... maybe it's the cultural difference, but I've always been told that risottos are not vegan in restaurants because they're made with meat stock, like chicken. Doesn't matter, I'd rather eat yours! Looks good! Voted! And of course, my new bit is about why soy is finally accepted in mainstream society! Cheers!
  7. JustVegan
    I love risotto. voted.
  8. Akanksha
    Asparagus is very good for health! #9
  9. Zack
    maybe some nutritional yeast could be added in to get that cheesy flavor? Anyway awesome post!
  10. Anita Vegana
    I missed this recipe. I am voting now! Looks very good. I love creamy foods. I think I might add sun dried tomatoes in the risotto!
    1. Veganara
      Thanks a lot Anita. I see that I have got you as addicted to sun-dried tomatoes as I am, LOL! Btw Zack, you could add nutritional yeast, it might enhance the flavour more, but it tastes cheesy anyway, with the vegan parmesan. If you and Anita try this recipe with your variations, do let me know how it comes out!
  11. Veggie
    I voted, this looks and sounds amazing! I love asparagus and I am trying to grow some, not sure how that will turn out. Now i have a great delicious recipe to try! Thank you! Please stop by and check on my posts, thumbprint cookies, pumpkin pie, and vegetarian to vegan and vote if you like!


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