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.