Warm up with vegan risotto

The winter has hit its stride. You know the feeling—you try hard to blind your eyes to the snowy darkness and to imagine yourself on a warm, sunny beach, but somehow it’s impossible to picture yourself as feeling really, truly warm ever again.

You need distractions, at least until May. Winter is the perfect time to perfect things that take perfecting, like a warming, hearty and oh-so delicious risotto. Paired with a good Chianti and steamed kale, and you might just want the cold weather to last a little longer to enjoy this hearty wintery dish.

Serves 4

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:

  • Lots of olive oil (1/4 cup-ish)
  • ½ cup sliced carrots
  • ½ cup sliced celery
  • 8 ounces mushrooms of your choice, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 2½ cups vegetable broth
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • ¾ cup frozen green peas
  • 1 ½ tablespoon nutritional yeast (for creaminess and flavor)
  • 2 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • Salt and Black pepper, to taste

Method:

In a heavy bottomed saucepan heat half of the olive oil over medium heat. Add the carrots and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until the celery is tender, about 6-8 minutes. Add the mushrooms and thyme, and saute until the mushrooms are soft, about 4 minutes more.

Add almost the remaining of olive oil (saving about a tablespoon) and the rice, and, stirring constantly, cook until the rice is evenly coated and sounds like crispy rice cereal in the pan, making snapping and popping noises, about 4 minutes. Add the wine, stirring constantly, until all of the liquid is completely absorbed.

Begin to ladle the broth into the rice and cook, continuing to stir, until most of the liquid is absorbed. Continue to add the broth in ladleful increments, allowing the liquid to be absorbed before another addition, for about 20 minutes.

Add the peas (you can add them frozen) and cook for just about 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly, or until the peas are tender and bright green. Stir in the remaining olive oil, parsley and nutritional yeast. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.

 Keep in touch with Jill on Twitter: www.twitter.com/jillettinger

Photo: wonderyort