Risotto is serious Italian comfort food. And its really easy to make.
Have you tried it before? I ask because I had it for the first time just a couple weeks ago at Sunday family dinner with my boyfriend. I know I can't believe I'd never had it before either. What kind of Italian girl am I?
Anyways, his mom is one helluva cook and she made this luxurious mushroom risotto that inspired my recreation.
Traditionally, risotto relies on butter and cheese for flavor but this recipe accomplishes umami through oil and nutritional yeast. Its usually not the type of dish most would consider healthy but this is Caras Kitchen.
Health is part of our DNA.
So in an effort to make this something your tastebuds and sexy body will love:
I used fiber rich brown instead of arborio rice (but use what you prefer).
Insert brain and immune boosting shitake and crimini mushrooms and we are well on our way to a nutrient dense dinner.
Since its still spring I tossed in detoxifying asparagus. So fresh and so green green.
AND its served alongside sweet and tangy cancer fighting marinated tomato salad that is bright, refreshing and the perfect compliment to the heavier risotto.
Heaven is a place on earth.
FOR THE RISOTTO
2 Cups brown rice
6 Cups vegetable broth
2 Tablespoons avocado oil
1/2 small onion, diced
1 Cup shitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 Cup crimini mushrooms thinly sliced
1 bunch asparagus, chopped in 1 inch pieces
1/2 Cup dry white wine or white wine vinegar
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, optional
Nutritional yeast to taste (optional)
pink salt and pepper, to taste
FOR THE SALAD
4 Cups cherry tomatoes, halved
4 Cups arugala
1/2 Cup balsamic vinegar
1/3 Cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 Cup fresh basil, sliced
pink salt and pepper, to taste
fresh lemon juice and slices
First prep the salad so the tomatoes have time to marinate while you cook the risotto.
Slice the tomatoes in half and put in a bowl with vinegar, oil, salt, pepper and basil. Let sit.
Reserve arugula until ready to serve.
Make the Risotto:
In a medium sauce pan warm up the vegetable broth but do not bring to a boil. Cover and keep warm. Set aside.
Heat a large frying pan with a tall edge/lip over medium heat. Once hot add 1 tablespoon oil. Add sliced mushrooms and asparagus, cook for a minute. Add a small pinch of salt, toss and then cook for another minute. Toss and cook one more minute. Set aside.
In the same pan over medium high heat, add the remaining oil and the onion. Saute for 2-3 minutes until translucent.
Add the rice. Toast by stiring every 20 seconds or so until fragrant and nutty smelling. About 3 minutes.
Then add in the white wine, stiring gently for 2-3 minutes until the liquid is absorbed.
Lower to medium heat.
Using a ladle, add warmed vegetable stock 1 cup at a time, stirring almost constantly, giving the risotto little breaks to come back to a simmer.
There should always be a slight simmer.
You want the mixture to be cooking but not boiling, or it will cook to fast.
Continue to add vegetable stock, stirring as you go, until the rice is 'al dente' - cooked through but still has a little bite.
The whole process should take 15-20 minutes approx.
Add in 3/4 the mushroom and asparagus, reserving the rest for serving. Mix well to evenly combine.
Sprinkle with nutritional yeast and more oil (or vegan butter) if using.
Taste and adjust the seasoning. Add more salt, pepper, nutritional yeast, vinegar ect.
TO SERVE: Divide the arugula amongst plates and top with equal portions of the tomato salad and the marinade.
Spoon the risotto along side topping with the reserved mushrooms and asparagus.
Squeeze with fresh lemon juice before serving, garnish with fresh basil and lemon slices if desired.