Classic Mushroom Risotto

We are taking the intimidation factor out of making homemade risotto with our Classic Mushroom Risotto. The recipe uses just 7 main ingredients (with two optional items) and can be prepared in about 30 minutes. The mushrooms and leeks should be cooked and set aside until the end to prevent them from getting mushy. To make the rice creamy, use a pan that is the same size as your burner then gradually add hot vegetable broth, stirring regularly though not constantly. As the rice rubs together it will generate starch and produce a smooth, rich texture. Once you have reached al dente, the vegetables can be added as well as the optional vegan Parmesan. While you must stay vigilant during the cooking process, this is a dish that any home cook can master. Enjoy it as a quick weeknight meal, or as an impressing offering for dinner party guests.

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 – 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 1 cup crimini mushrooms (or mushrooms of choice), sliced
  • 1/2 cup leeks, finely sliced
  • 1/4 cup white wine*
  • 1/4 cup Vegan Parmesan (optional)
  • 1 shallot, finely diced
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Freshly chopped parsley, to serve (optional)
  • PREP TIME 5
  • COOK TIME 25
  • Serves 2

Directions

  1. Over medium heat, warm vegetable broth in a small saucepan until simmering (but not boiling).
  2. Meanwhile, place a burner-sized saucepan over medium heat.
  3. Add a few drops of vegetable broth then the sliced mushrooms. Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper. Saute until tender, then remove and set aside.
  4. Add a few more drops of vegetable broth to the pan, then the leeks and shallots. Sprinkle with pepper. Saute until softened, then remove and set aside with mushrooms.
  5. Add arborio rice to the same saucepan.
  6. Cook for 1 minute then add white wine. Cook another 1-2 minutes until the liquid has been absorbed.
  7. Add hot vegetable broth 1/2 cup at a time. Stir regularly to avoid burning. Simmer (but not boil) until the broth has been absorbed, then add the next 1/2 cup.
  8. Continue for 15-20 minutes or until rice is al dente. There may be unused vegetable broth.
  9. Remove from heat. Add leeks, shallots, most of the mushrooms, and Vegan Parmesan (if desired).
  10. Stir and add freshly ground black pepper to taste.
  11. Spoon risotto into bowls.
  12. Top with a few cooked mushrooms, a sprinkle of Vegan Parmesan (if desired) and fresh chopped parsley (if desired). Serve.

Note: It is best to use a burner-sized pan when preparing risotto so it is heated evenly and the rice has a chance to rub together to create starch, which makes the dish creamy. The vegetable broth should be pre-heated so cooking time is not slowed. Make sure the heat is adjusted so the rice is simmering but not boiling. Stir almost constantly to avoid sticking and burning, but take periodic, brief breaks so the rice does not become gluey. Only add as much vegetable broth as needed for the rice to reach al dente texture. Vegetables should always be added at the end, off the heat, to prevent them from becoming mushy.

*This classic Italian recipe is traditionally prepared with white wine, which gives the rice added flavor. However, vegetable broth may be substituted.