If you’re looking for a bit of wintery decadence, try this mushroom risotto. It’s inspired by the Italian tradition, but veganised.
If you don’t already love mushrooms, it’s a good idea to learn to like them. They have some rather incredible immune-boosting properties, so it’s worth developing a taste for them.
A traditional risotto uses the special short-grained, starchy Arborio rice, along with butter, white wine and parmesan cheese for a rich flavour. It should be creamy and fairly thick, but not sticky.
This version uses vegan butter (I used Flora Vegan, but you could use another vegan butter or coconut oil), a good quality white wine, and a generous dash of nutritional yeast for cheesy flavour. Miso paste adds some umami to the dish, and chives bring a freshness. And of course, if you can add an interesting variety of mushrooms, that’s a plus!
The trick to a risotto, of course, is to keep stirring. This is not the kind of dish you leave on the stove to come back to later. Love your risotto, and it’ll love you back.
I once made a huge pot of this mushroom risotto for five hungry men – I miscalculated the amount of wine, and ended up using almost a whole bottle of a rather pricey chenin blanc. The risotto disappeared pretty fast though. The moral of the story: the more wine, the better!
- 4 dried shiitake mushrooms
- ½ cup hot water
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 litre vegetable stock
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp miso paste
- 3 cups mixed fresh mushrooms
- ½ medium onion chopped
- 1 ½ cups arborio rice
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 1 tbsp vegan butter
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- ⅓ cup chives finely chopped
- Soak the dried mushrooms in about half a cup of hot water.
- Prepare the vegetable stock and set aside.
- Mix the soy sauce and miso paste until there are no lumps, then add to the stock.
- Add the mushroom soaking water to the stock, and finely dice the rehydrated mushrooms.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium-high heat, and add the fresh mushrooms.
- Sauté for a few minutes, until soft.
- Remove the mushrooms and set aside (with their liquid).
- Reduce heat a bit, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and add the onion.
- Sauté until soft and translucent.
- Add the arborio rice and stir for a couple minutes until a bit golden in colour.
- Add half of the wine, and stir constantly until absorbed. Add the rest of the wine and stir until absorbed.
- Add the stock mixture one cup at a time, stirring constantly until fully absorbed. Keep stirring while adding broth, until the rice is soft and translucent.
- Remove from the heat, and stir in the vegan butter, nutritional yeast, mushrooms and chives.
- Add freshly ground black pepper to taste.
- Serve immediately.