I have been wanting to do a vegan risotto recipe for a long time, so when Melanie came to me asking for recipes using mushrooms, I knew I had to try a vegan mushroom risotto. Most risottos are served with a creamy cheese based sauce. This one tastes even better than the traditional ones, using only broth. The vegan margarine and nutritional yeast add an additional creamy, rich flavor and texture to the dish if you like. It tastes fabulous without them as well. Enjoy!
4 ounces dried shittake mushrooms
1-1/2 cup boiling water
2-1/2 cups vegetable broth
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 cups chopped spinach
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped onions
8 ounces crimini mushrooms, sliced
1 teaspoons dried thyme, or 1 tablespoon fresh
1 cup uncooked Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon dairy free margarine (optional)
1-1/2 tablesoons nutritional yeast (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
In a small bowl combine the boiling water with the shitake mushrooms, and let them soak uncovered for 30 minutes. Drain the liquid into a medium-sized saucepan and discard the mushrooms. Add the vegetable broth to the sauce pan, bring the mixture to a simmer and cover.
In a small bowl, toss the spinach, lemon juice and 1 teaspoon of the salt. Set aside.
In a dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped garlic and onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are tender and translucent, about 6-8 minutes. Add the mushrooms and thyme, and cook until the mushrooms are soft, about 4 minutes more. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the rice, and, stirring constantly, cook until the rice is evenly coated and sounds like crispy rice cereal, making popping noises in the pan, about 4 minutes. Add the wine, stirring constantly, until all of the liquid is completely absorbed.
Ladle 1/2 cup of the simmering broth into the rice and cook, continuing to stir constantly, until most of the liquid is absorbed. Continue to add the broth in 1/2 cup increments, allowing the liquid to be absorbed before another addition, until the rice is translucent around the edges but still solid in the middle and the rice is of a creamy consistency, about 20 minutes.
Add the spinach and cook for just about 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly, or until the spinach is wilted and bright green. Stir in the dairy free margarine and nutritional yeast if using. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.
Photo and recipe by: Michelle