Sunday, October 1, 2017

Risotto (i.e. Vegan MoFo, Day 1)


It's Vegan MoFo! After a hiatus last year, I'm back in full swing, looking forward to sharing some recipes--new and old--with you all.

Today we're talking about giving a standard veggie option--like a risotto--a little makeover. My friend Sarah (who has her own cooking blog) made an amazing risotto for us a few months back that I haven't been able to stop thinking about. Her version included sautéed mushrooms, asparagus, and green peas. When I asked her for the recipe, she mentioned that for fall a little roasted butternut squash is the perfect addition. Which got my wheels turning...

A few weeks ago, my stepmom (who also happens to be a fantastic cook) made us a delicious pasta which had--you guessed it!--roasted squash. As well as artichoke hearts. Delicious! So I thought I'd spice things up a bit with those additions, as well as the mushrooms. 


I'd actually never made risotto before. It was one of those recipes that I figured was too time consuming and difficult to tackle--but after Sarah's risotto, I realized it would be well worth it. 

And? I discovered it's actually not as hard as you may think! You've just got to be ready to stir--for about 20 minutes straight. So the real trick is to just have everything entirely prepped before you get going.


What You'll Need:
Artichoke hearts (jarred or canned), chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
8 oz mushrooms (whatever type you like, such as cremini, I used Baby bellas)
Approximately one butternut squash, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
Zest from 1/2 lemon 
1 small onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
1/3 cup white wine
6-8 cups vegetable stock
1-2 tablespoons butter
1 cup Vegan Parmesan cheese (optional)

What You'll Need to Do:
Preheat oven to 425F. Get that squash roasting. Toss with 2 tbsp olive oil and approximately half the garlic (two cloves), then spread on a sheet pan (I like to cover my pan with baking parchment for no-mess cleanup later). Roast for approximately 20 minutes--you want the squash to be slightly chewy and tender but not mushy.

Meanwhile, sauté the mushrooms in olive oil until they've released their moisture (about 5-7 minutes). Season with salt and pepper, then add in artichoke hearts and butternut squash and mix to combine.

Okay! Ready? You're going to take your onion and saute it in the margarine until soft and translucent. Then add 1.5 cups risotto, and stir to roast rice for about 2 min (until the ends of the rice grains become translucent). Then deglaze your pan with 1/3 cup white wine.

Slowly add about 6-8 cups of hot broth, 1 cup at a time, stirring constantly. You want to use enough liquid to just cook the rice and get it to a nice consistency, without being too thinned out or runny. You can begin tasting after about 12 minutes or so--it should be done after closer to 20 (up to 30). Once you've got that nice, rich risotto texture, add the veggies, then stir in your Parmesan, if using. Finally, finish off with zest, and serve immediately!



  1. This sounds really nice! I've never had artichokes in a risotto before.

    My tip for risottos is to have some nice music playing while you stir, treat it as time to relax.

    1. Great tip! It can be quite relaxing if you're in the right mood!

  2. Your risotto looks absolutely perfect for fall; I love the idea of adding butternut squash!

    1. It's a wonderfully autumnal dish! Warm and hearty!