I know I talked yesterday about how risotto is, like, so totally easy to make vegan, blah blah blah, but I was so serious about it that I wanted you have a new version to try out.
Also. I tried tofutti! You know that stuff that's made with soy but tastes like cream cheese? I bought some so that I could try it and report back to you.
Verdict coming later.
First, though, risotto. It's SO simple, but the flavor is REALLY intensely lemon. The key is to use lots of zest but put it in right at the very end so that you don't lose the flavor while the rice cooks.
You need some ingredients. Risotto rice, veggie stock, 2 lemons, 2 scallions, parsley, garlic, salt, pine nuts, artichokes in water (not marinated, for the love of allah), and wine. Tofutti is optional. I added it to see if it would add a creamy component to the dish that normally comes from parmesan or butter. It's totally optional, though!
If your pine nuts aren't toasted, drop them into a dry pan and turn the heat to medium. Shake the pan around for a few minutes until the nuts become slightly darker, then set them off to the side.
Now, grab the scallions. Mine were huge - any kind of spring onion is great. If yours are very teeny, use 3 or 4. Make one cut separating the whites and greens.
Then, chop the white parts, and thinly slice the green parts of the onion.
To the skillet you used to toast the pine nuts, add the onion whites with a drizzle of olive oil.
Cook the onions for 1 or 2 minutes until they just start to soften, then add the rice. 1 cup is more than enough for 4 people! Stir the rice into the onions and oil for 1 minute to toast it slightly.
Then, pour in the wine! Stir the wine and increase the heat on the stove if it doesn't bubble right away - probably between medium and medium high for the rest of the cooking time.
When the wine is reduced, we start the stock - stir - stock dance. Add stock about ⅔ of a cup at a time.
Then, stir the stock until it bubbles and reduces.
When the rice looks almost dry, like this, it's time to add more! Stir about half the time - this breaks up the starch in the rice and makes the risotto creamy without adding any actual cream.
While the risotto is cooking, prep the rest of the ingredients. Zest both lemons. I love the way lemon zest smells and wish my house smelled like citrus zest all the time. It does not. It smells like dogs.
Then, mince the garlic clove - we add it at the end for a nice raw garlic flavor, which goes so well with the zest.
So, we have lemon zest, garlic, pine nuts, and onion greens all prepped and ready to go!
Chop about ¼ cup of parsley too.
And, open the can of artichokes, drain them, and let them rest on paper towels. I like big chunks of artichoke, but you can chop them into smaller bits if you want!
After you add about 4 cups of stock (or stock mixed with water), taste the rice and see if it's done - it shouldn't be totally mushy, but it shouldn't stick to your teeth either. Add some salt here if it needs it. I wait until the end to add salt to risotto because sometimes stock can be really salty.
When the rice is almost totally cooked, add half the parsley, the garlic, lemon zest, pine nuts, and onion greens.
Stir everything together, and taste one more time.
Squeeze in the juice of ⅓ or so of one of the lemons - just a small wedge. Because we added the lemon zest last, there's already a ton of lemon flavor going on!
Now, if you're not into fake cheese products, you can stop here and serve. OR, you can add a big spoonful (2 tablespoons or so) of tofutti for a nice creamy addition. I stirred this in, then served this in cute little ramekins.
This is DELICIOUS, guys. The key is to add the garlic, lemon zest, and other stuff right at the end so you get that really bright lemon flavor.
As for the tofutti, eh. I don't know - it's kind of expensive, highly processed (we're talking about an edamame that now acts like cream cheese...a total sex change), so it's still not great for you. It added a nice creaminess, but for non-vegans I'd still go with butter. For vegans, this risotto was delicious before I added it so....stir the risotto a lot and you'll still have a creamy final product! Top the risotto with the rest of the parsley, and go. to. town. This is GREAT, and really perfect for spring. My friend Emily suggested it! Obviously you could use chicken stock, butter, and parm and make this vegetarian but not vegan, but the vegan option is very delicious!
Thanks for all the fun tips about veganism, by the way. I've decided to feature more vegan recipes on a weekly basis. Is that something you'd like to see? Tell me, please.
That is all. Enjoy this one!
Lemon Artichoke Risotto (Vegan!)
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- 1 cup arborio or risotto rice
- 2 spring onions or 4 scallions, thinly sliced, whites and greens separated
- ¼ cup toasted pine nuts
- 1 can artichokes in water, quartered and drained
- ¼ cup parsley leaves, roughly chopped
- 2 whole lemons, zested
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- salt, to taste
- 2 tablespoons cream cheese or tofutti, optional
- Preheat a large skillet to medium heat. Add the onion whites with a drizzle of oil and cook for 2 minutes until slightly softened. Add the rice and stir to coat in the oil for 2 more minutes.
- Add the wine and stir constantly until evaporated.
- Add the stock ⅔ cup at a time, stirring lots, until it's evaporated, then add more. Repeat for 25 minutes or so until the rice is cooked through. If you use all the stock, add water until the rice is done.
- Right before the rice is cooked, add the pine nuts, parsley, lemon zest, garlic, and artichokes to the pan. Stir and taste the risotto - add salt if needed. Squeeze in 2 wedges of lemon juice, too.
- Stir in the tofutti if using, and serve topped with extra parsley and pine nuts.
- If you start the rice first, then prep the flavoring ingredients, this can be done in 30 minutes!
- Prep Time: 15
- Cook Time: 30
- Serving Size: 4
Shared with my weekend potluck peeps!
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