Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Vegan Spring Risotto

This dish really celebrates Spring, by using fresh, organic vegetables that are in season!  Every bit of produce was purchased at my local farmers market!  Don't skimp on the basil... it is soo good!

serves 4-6

12 oz Aborio rice
olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
4-6 cloves of garlic, chopped
3-4 small carrots, diced
4-6 kale leaves, ribs removed and chopped
1 cup (+/-) asparagus, chopped
white wine (optional)
4-6 cups veggie stock
1/4 cup nutritional yeast *, or parmesan cheese (obviously it won't be vegan if you use cheese)
basil, thinly sliced
2-4 green onions, sliced

Heat veg stock in a sauce pan over medium low heat and bring to a simmer and keep it warm.

In a large cast iron dutch oven or stock pot, heat a splash of olive oil over medium heat.  Add in rice and cook until golden brown and slightly toasted, about 5 minutes.  Pour rice into a bowl and set aside.  Add a splash more olive oil and saute onion, garlic and carrots until tender, about 5 minutes. Season with s/p. Toss in the kale and asparagus and cook for 1-2 minutes more.  Pour the previously cooked rice back into the pot and add in just enough warm stock to cover the rice and veggies.  Cook and stir until the stock is absorbed.  Add in a splash of wine (optional) and another ladle full of stock.  Stir until absorbed.  Continue adding ladles full of stock one at a time until rice is tender and fully cooked.  Make sure to keep stirring, this helps bring out the starch in the rice, resulting in a creamier risotto.  When fully cooked, add in yeast/parmesan and season with s/p.  Stir to incorporate.  Top with basil and green onions.

*Nutritional yeast is a wonderful addition to vegan/vegetarian cooking.  It is super rich in B-vitamins which mostly found in red  meat.  It has a delicious cheesy, salty flavor to it!  We add it to soups, pastas, salads and I gobble it up on popcorn drizzled with olive oil!

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